The first human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was licensed in 2006 and despite tens of millions of doses being safely administered according to experts, parents don’t seem to be any more comfortable with the vaccine today.
“Concerns about safety and side effects for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine — one of the newest shots recommended for adolescents — has increased among parents: 16% cited these fears as the main reason they did not have their daughters vaccinated in 2010, up from 5% in 2008, a new study finds.
“And the percentage of parents who said they did not intend to vaccinate their daughters against HPV in the next 12 months also grew, from 40% in 2008 to 41% in 2009 to 44% in 2010, even as parents reported increasing physician recommendations to get the shot, says the study in April’s Pediatrics, released online Monday.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV vaccines offer the best protection to girls and boys who receive all three vaccine doses and have time to develop an immune response before being sexually active with another person.
“Parental anxiety over the safety of other new adolescent vaccines — the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster Tdap, (and a version called Td without the pertussis portion) and the meningococcal disease shot MCV4 — did not show a similar increase.”
HPV is a group of sexually transmitted viruses passed through genital contact – most often during vaginal or anal sex but can also be spread through oral sex. The vaccine is recommended for boys and girls 11 to 12 years old.
We discussed this when the vaccine first came out. I can’t find the story because my archive doesn’t go back that far in this system, but I remember many moms saying that wanted to wait a while to see what shook out. At the time my oldest was too young for it, and I was glad I didn’t have to make that decision then, but guess what? Now she is exactly the age they are targeting with the vaccine. So in the next year or so, we will have to make a decision about it.
So have you done it? Did you hold out? Did you give it to your son as well? Where do you stand on it now?