Vaccinating Vacancies

Gardasil vaccine usage increases only 4 percent

(RxWiki News) Each year, the United States has six million become infected with human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is known to cause cervical cancer in women and associated with head and neck cancers in men.

The Center for Disease Controls (CDC) recommends that all teenage girls be vaccinated with Gardasil for HPV.

A national phone survey indicates that those receiving the meningitis vaccine and the tetanus shots went up by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010. Those receiving at least one in the three-shot series of HPV vaccine rose only four percent during the same time period.

"Have your child complete the Gardasil vaccine series."

CDC's Melinda Wharton, M.D. acknowledges it takes a while for vaccines to catch on, but these results about the HPV vaccine are extremely disappointing. She warns that if a better job isn't done to encourage use of the vaccine, an entire generation is vulnerable to developing cervical cancer later on in life.

Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, a Washington, D.C.-based research group, implores the government to launch an educational campaign to encourage parents to have their girls vaccinated prior to exposure to the virus.

The national phone survey including more than 19,000 teenage participants, found that 69 percent had gotten the tetanus shot, 63 percent had received the meningitis vaccine and 32 percent received all three doses of the HPV vaccine.

Girls living in poverty were much less likely to complete the 6 month series of shots and blacks and Hispanics were less likely to complete the series than whites.

Review Date: 
August 25, 2011