There has been a lot of talk about the measles vaccine over the past few weeks. An outbreak at Disneyland, which has spread to several other states, has brought the debate about vaccines to the forefront. Parents who don’t want to vaccinate their children, for various reasons, have found themselves needing to defend their decision while advocates of vaccines remind everyone that the vaccines are safe and the study claiming a link to autism was debunked when it was discovered the author of the study outright lied.
The measles vaccine debate reminds us there is another vaccine that can help prevent disease, which isn’t fully embraced by parents. This is the HPV vaccine. It is given over a series of three shots and recommended for both boys and girls starting at age 11 or 12. This vaccine helps prevents contracting the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), which can cause cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer as well as genital warts. The vaccine should be given before a person becomes sexually active.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, only 57 percent of girls between the ages of 13 and 17 had