Some parents reluctant to get child HPV vaccine - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Some parents reluctant to get child HPV vaccine

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The CDC says 14 million people will become infected with the human papillomavirus just this year.

That makes it the most common sexually transmitted disease.

A vaccine to prevent HPV has been available for about eight years, but rates are still low.

Doctors say the HPV vaccine is the only one on the market that helps prevent cancer, which is why it is important to get.

But since it has not been out for even a decade, some parents are reluctant.

HPV is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer.

But since 2006, there has been a vaccine for it.

"It's recommended to get somewhere between age 11 and 12. So it's most effective if you get the vaccine before you're exposed to the HPV virus." Said Dr. Ashley Briggs with Sanford Health.

She added the vaccination rate has been increasing, but it is still lower than other vaccines, "The rate of HPV vaccination in 2012, about 20% of men had been vaccinated and 45% of women have been vaccinated, but that compares to the tetanus vaccine, which is 85%."

One reason it is lower is because the vaccine is fairly new.

"I think as people understand it and it's out longer and we have more information on the safety profile, I think people will be more comfortable with it." Dr. Briggs said.

That is why Sheila Keller decided against the shot for her three daughters.

"We did a lot of reading on it and we just felt it hadn't been out long enough to know the long term side effects." Keller said.

She said she also discussed the decision with her girls' pediatrician, who did not push either way for the vaccine.

So Keller said it all came down to the unknown, "If I had concrete proof that it did prevent cervical cancer and there were no long term effects, then we could certainly consider it, but I just think it's only been out 10-15 years something like that. That, to me, is not long enough for someone who is aged 11 or 12 to know history as an adult."

Dr. Briggs said the immediate side effects from the HPV shot are similar to other vaccines, so possibly a fainting episode or pain at the injection site.

Since this disease is so common, she thinks it is an important vaccine to get.

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