HPV Vaccine Rate in Teens Stable

Sep 13, 2011, 12:04 by R.E. Christian

U.S. teen vaccination rates are rising for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and for meningitis, but not for human papillomavirus, officials say.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, says about 6 million people in the United States become infected with HPV each year. The CDC reports about 12,000 women will be diagnosed each year with cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine helps prevent cervical cancer.

CDC recommends HPV vaccine for girls ages 11-12 to protect against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, and recommends teenage girls who have not yet been vaccinated with HPV vaccine complete the vaccination series.

HPV vaccines are given in three doses -- as shots -- over six months to ensure the highest level of protection, Schuchat says.

"More U.S. teens are being protected against these serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases," Schuchat says in a statement. "However, the HPV results are very concerning. Our progress is stagnating, and if we don't make major changes, far too many girls in this generation will remain vulnerable to cervical cancer later in life."

The CDC teen survey found coverage for the three routine teen vaccines was 49 percent for one dose of HPV vaccine; 63 percent for meningococcal meningitis and 69 percent for Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis).

The findings are published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Source: UPI