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HPV vaccination rates still lag, CDC says

Thursday, July 25, 2013 5:40 PM
Last updated 8:56 PM
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Dr. Daron Ferris often sees the consequences of human papillomavirus infection in the form of cancer and precancerous changes among women and girls at Georgia Regents University Cancer Center.

Despite the presence since 2006 of a vaccine against HPV, “It’s not getting better, as far as we’re concerned,” said Ferris, of the Gynecologic Oncology clinic.

“It’s even to the point where I’ve had mothers come in with daughters who have severe precancerous changes and they’re young enough that they could have received the vaccine and it could have been prevented.”

Still, the rate of vaccination against HPV, the most common sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cancer, did not increase last year, which was “a huge disappointment,” said Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the vaccine were administered when teenage and pre-teen girls got other vaccines, however, nearly all of them would get coverage, Frieden said Thursday.

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said his group was ready to help educate parents and recommend the vaccine more.

The rate of girls ages 13-17 who had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine remained stuck at 53.8 percent in 2012, virtually unchanged from 53 percent in 2011, the CDC reported Thursday. In fact, the percentage of girls receiving all three recommended doses declined from 34.8 percent to 33.4 percent last year. If the vaccine were administered at the same time girls were getting other recommended vaccines, the coverage rate would climb to 92.6 percent, according to the report.

“We’re dropping the ball,” Frieden said. “We’re missing opportunities to give HPV vaccine, and that needs to change. This is a huge disappointment, but I am confident we will turn it around.”

In a survey of teens’ parents, about 19 percent of those who did not intend for their daughters to get the vaccine said it wasn’t needed, 14 percent thought it was not recommended, 13 percent thought the vaccine was unsafe and 10 percent refused because the child was not sexually active.

Pediatricians should address those concerns with parents to encourage HPV vaccination, which is recommended now for both boys and girls, said academy president Thomas K. McInerny.

“It is up to doctors to have open and honest and frank discussions with parents about the importance of this vaccine and to ensure their adolescents get vaccinated,” he said.

The vaccine is against the four HPV strains most commonly linked to cervical cancer and other problems such as genital warts. If the U.S. vaccination rate were to reach 80 percent – a level already achieved in other countries, such as Australia and Rwanda – there would be 53,000 fewer cases of cervical cancer in the future among girls now age 12 and younger, the CDC report notes.

There had been concerns from some parents that vaccinating young girls against a sexually transmitted disease would lead to higher rates of promiscuity, but studies have found that did not happen, Frieden said.

“HPV vaccine does not open the door to sex,” he said. “HPV vaccine closes the door to cancer.”

The recommended age to start vaccinating girls is 11.

About 79 million people in the U.S. are already infected with HPV and about 14 million are infected each year, the CDC noted. Within the first four years of the HPV vaccine being administered, the rate of infection dropped by more than 50 percent in girls ages 14-19 and the rate of genital warts also declined. In Australia, where there is a much higher coverage rate among females, the incidence of genital warts has also decreased in males, the CDC report noted.

With more than 57 million doses administered, there has not been a significant rate of serious adverse events, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

“We don’t have safety concerns about the vaccine,” she said. “So far, we have very reassuring news.”

Part of the problem might be that primary care providers feel uncomfortable talking about the subject with the parents of adolescents but they might not know the consequences of doing nothing, said Ferris, who conducted clinical trials on the vaccine and is working on the potential new vaccine.

“A lot of them don’t see what we see as far as the disease,” he said. “They never actually see what happens. It’s not difficult to have somebody roll up their sleeve and get a shot. That’s easy. But it is difficult to tell them, ‘You’re not going to have children and potentially you could die from it.’ ”

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Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 04:55 pm
3
3
Lagging

The overall tone of this story is disturbing. The medical professionals who were interviewed for the story are clearly pushing an agenda instead of offering a service. The rate of vaccinations is not "lagging" unless the person making the allegation is an advocate for an "acceptable" vaccination rate.

Why not just offer the vaccine and accept the number of people who buy the vaccine as the normal vaccination rate. It is not "lagging," it is not "leading." Whatever the people want and are willing to pay for is the proper thing.

Who appointed this Dr. Daron Ferris to be God that he can determine the proper vaccination rate in a community, a region, a nation? Preposterous.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/25/13 - 10:30 pm
2
2
Pushing an agenda?
Unpublished

I think the point here is that children are being made to suffer unnecessarily. Whether we want to blame it on the lack of information provided to parents or a lackluster/less than enthusiastic education/information program that is needed promote the benefits of the vaccine, more work definitely needs to be done.

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 07/25/13 - 08:48 pm
4
1
Facts

I do not think this is the best written article but as a medical coder this series of vacines is covered by most commercial insurance carriers and VFC (vacines for children) which covers Medicaid and uninsured patients under 19. Insurance will not pay for vacines that have not proven to be benificial. 20 years from now prevention for HVP could be viewed as effective as Polio vacines were years ago.

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 09:05 pm
2
2
DogGone

Your first phrase is the understatement of the year:

I do not think this is the best-written article . . .

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 09:10 pm
2
3
Examination

Let us examine this paragraph from the story:

Still, the rate of vaccination against HPV, the most common sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cancer, did not increase last year, which was “a huge disappointment,” said Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When a purported news story uses a word such as "disappointment," readers should become suspicious of ulterior motives. Readers should wonder whether they are reading a news story or a propaganda piece for the pharmaceutical industry – the industry that manufactures and markets the HPV vaccine.

It smacks of bad journalism.

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 07/25/13 - 09:27 pm
5
0
So what if the article is

So what if the article is pushing an agenda? It would seem to me limiting cases of cervical cancer is a legitimate agenda to push.

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 09:30 pm
2
5
Motive

Tom Corwin inserted a one-sentence paragraph into his story:

The recommended age to start vaccinating girls is 11.

Who recommended this? What is their agenda? Might it be to make millions of dollars by selling vaccinations?

corgimom
38455
Points
corgimom 07/25/13 - 09:48 pm
6
1
No, it's because the average

No, it's because the average age of first sexual intercourse has now dropped to about age 13. For low-income kids, the age of first sexual intercourse is 12. It is not like it used to be when we were growing up.

Their only agenda is to stop the epidemic of cervical cancer. Once a girl is infected, they can't get uninfected.

I have known so many women that have had HPV. It is extremely common, it's not a rare virus. I know women that had to get treated for dysplasia before age 20.

And if a girl is raped, then what? Why would anyone take a chance on their child's life?

Because it wouldn't matter to the manufacturer if somebody got vaccinated at age 11, 15, 20, or whatever. The sale would still be the same.

There's a lot of talk about breast cancer. HPV infections are far more common. It's the most common sexually transmitted disease, and there are many strains of it.

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 09:56 pm
2
5
Big Pharma

Glaxo Smith Kline and Merck Pharmaceuticals are the two major drug companies that manufacture, distribute and market HPV vaccines. They are the ones who reward the doctors and the news reporters and the news editors when they publish articles frightening gullible members of the public to purchase their product.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/25/13 - 10:41 pm
5
2
Maybe I'm missing something LL ...
Unpublished

are you implying Dr. Frieden, the CDC Director, along with every other doctor who advises patients to get the HPV vaccine, has a financial interest in the pharmaceutical company that developed the vaccine?

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 07/26/13 - 06:11 am
1
7
a fraud

according to this information the testing for this vaccine is a fraud and it serves no purpose but to make money

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/16/hpv-vaccin...

Sean Moores
1061
Points
Sean Moores 07/26/13 - 08:25 am
5
0
@ LL 10:10

We didn't choose that word. Our expert source used that word in a direct quote. These aren't representatives of big Pharma; these are government officials and GRU physicians. You can question their motives if you want, but we aren't making any sort of value judgment by reporting this story.

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 07/26/13 - 09:37 am
5
1
Try to think, people

If it were all about money for the drug companies, don't you think they'd say "You know what, don't get vaccinated! We will make WAY more money when you need chemo/radiation/surgery/etc."

And, soldout, you cited an article written by a DIETICIAN to "prove" that the vaccine is a "fraud." That's not exactly a credible source.

Those of you who oppose the vaccine or this article really need to be honest. You think it's going to make everyone think it's okay to sleep around, and you want to impose your moral values on others. Just say that as opposed to using red herring arguments like "It's about money to them!" or "the vaccine isn't really that effective!". At least be honest about your position.

Red Headed Step Child
4490
Points
Red Headed Step Child 07/26/13 - 10:22 am
2
0
Don't forget boys can be vaccinated too...

As the case with Michael Douglas, men can develop oral cancers due to exposure to HPV. I have sons, and their PCP advised them to get vaccinated. My thought on the subject is that if it can help reduce or eliminate getting these cancers, then why not? As long as there are no major side effects, etc. I don't see an issue with exercising that ounce of prevention...

Sean Moores
1061
Points
Sean Moores 07/26/13 - 12:17 pm
5
0
@ LL 10:56

I missed this one. Do you seriously think pharmaceutical companies are rewarding us in any way for writing stories about vaccinations?

msitua
132
Points
msitua 07/26/13 - 01:24 pm
0
4
boldface lies

th reason the numbers vaccinating are down is because the vaccine is dangerous causing dozens of deaths and many lifelong illnesses. Get a pap smear-it's a lot safer. Most doctors don'tever give you both sides of the argument. Educate before you vaccinate-.

Red Headed Step Child
4490
Points
Red Headed Step Child 07/26/13 - 02:12 pm
5
0
Pap smears

Don't prevent cancers - they are used to detect abnormalities in the cells that can be cancer indicators...it's not a treatment for anything.

I think with any vaccination / medication there are inherent risks. Just like you may not be allergic to something, I may be deathly allergic to it - it would be near impossible to know how someone will react. I don't know of anything that is 100% safe when it comes to things like this.

No one wants to die from a vaccination, but when you look at the numbers - from June 2006 to March 2013 57 million doses were given, and from them I think there were 42 reported deaths - that's not a high percentage in the grand theme of things. You have to determine if the risks outweigh the gain. Seems like based on this data, this vaccine is generally considered safe.

Of course, with my luck, I'd be one of the folks with adverse effects!!!

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 07/26/13 - 02:22 pm
3
0
Doing some math, msitua

The death rate from this vaccine is .00074%, or, less than 1 in 1,000,000. The odds of beings truck by lightning in a year are 1 in 700,000. So, there is almost twice as much risk in being struck by lightning this year as there is from dying from the HPV vaccine.

The pap smear thing is ridiculous. That doesn't *Prevent* anything; it detects it. Isn't prevention better than detection - even at the risk of 1 in 1.5M deaths?

Again, just admit it: you think it's going to make people promiscuous. We can have a legitimate debate if people would just be honest about their biases.

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/26/13 - 02:26 pm
1
1
Incomplete Journalism

Thanks for responding, Sean. To become a piece of good journalism, shouldn't representatives on the opposing side of vaccinating young children for immunity against HPV be quoted? Tom has quotes from people from Grooo Cancer Center, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Center for Immunization—all singing the same tune. To present even a semblance of balance he should have sought out a responsible spokesman on the other side of the issue.

When a story presents only one side of a controversial issue, it smacks of advocacy, of propaganda.

It will be easy to fix this.

Red Headed Step Child
4490
Points
Red Headed Step Child 07/26/13 - 02:26 pm
2
0
Added to which the reported

Added to which the reported deaths couldn't be 100% contributed to the vaccine...

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/26/13 - 02:36 pm
2
3
Yes

fedex227 asked LL:

. . . are you implying Dr. Frieden, the CDC Director, along with every other doctor who advises patients to get the HPV vaccine, has a financial interest in the pharmaceutical company that developed the vaccine?

Take a look at this quote from the story:

. . . Ferris, who conducted clinical trials on the vaccine and is working on the potential new vaccine.

So you know Dr. Ferris is on the take. We are not told about the others.

Sean Moores
1061
Points
Sean Moores 07/26/13 - 03:08 pm
1
0
@ LL

I know Tom reads the comments. Your feedback is appreciated.

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 07/26/13 - 03:41 pm
0
4
testing

If the testing shows it had no effect why take it? Ask anyone who does research if they know the desired result of their research when they do the research and who is paying for the research. Most do. Being sick makes money and being healthy does not. Properly prescribed medications are a leading cause of death. People who have a physical examine each year have a shorter life span than those who do not. That kind of research makes no money so you won't see it in any TV ads. There are 35-40 countries with longer life spans than this country and we spend more on medical care than any of those. Use doctors for what they are good at and not what they are not educated to understand. No one knows what they don't know. You will make better decisions if your doctor is your adviser and not your director. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth and show you the right decision. The Bible says it is not within a man to direct his own path.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/26/13 - 07:59 pm
2
0
Apologies LL ..
Unpublished

Didn't realize you had evidence that Dr. Ferris was 'on the take' and getting a kickback from the pharmaceutical company producing the HPV vaccine. Since I know the Augusta Chronicle does not allow unfounded accusations to be posted it must be true. Peddling your ineffective vaccine on unsuspecting children - shame on you Dr. Ferris. I only hope the Chronicle will follow up and expose this man’s agenda to perpetrate this scam on the American public. This guy should be in prison. AC - where's the story in this?

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 07/26/13 - 08:07 pm
0
2
Two Sides

I was merely asking The Augusta Chronicle to outline differing opinions in news stories on controversial issues, as the HPV vaccine is. Do you remember how Merck Pharmaceutical lobbied in most state legislatures to have school boards require HPV vaccines before the 11-year-olds could return to school? Thankfully that initiative failed. But this story Tom Corwin wrote is a tailwind. And you can expect more advocacy as the "new" vaccine comes to market.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/26/13 - 08:15 pm
1
0
Sorry LL, my apologies again ...
Unpublished

I was just reading what you wrote ... "So you know Dr. Ferris is on the take." I didn't realize that was merely a question. I'll get this interweb thing down eventually.

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 07/27/13 - 05:41 am
1
0
Seriously?

Little Lamb said:

"When a story presents only one side of a controversial issue, it smacks of advocacy, of propaganda."

Why is vaccinating a kid against HPV/cervical cancer "controversial"? If there was an article about the effect of spousal abuse, should the author quote people who are in favor of it? Balance just for the sake of balance isn't always good journalism.

This issue is only controversial because moral conservative zealots have made it so. If you don't want your kid vaccinated, I suppose be prepared to live with the consequences if they grow up and get cervical cancer because of your "values" (Because...the secret is out: your daughter WILL have sex one day! And it may be with someone who is carrying the HPV virus...).

corgimom
38455
Points
corgimom 07/27/13 - 11:10 am
1
0
"th reason the numbers

"th reason the numbers vaccinating are down is because the vaccine is dangerous causing dozens of deaths and many lifelong illnesses."

No, it isn't causing "dozens of deaths" and considering it's only been available a few years, it couldn't possibly cause many lifelong illnesses.

It's like this case here- “Information has been received … concerning a 12 year old female with a history of aortic and mitral valve insufficiency … who on 01-MAR-2007 was vaccinated IM into the left arm with a first does of Gardasil … On 01-MAR-2007 the patient presented to the ED with ventricular tachycardia and died.”

Did the vaccine cause the tachycardia? No, her previous heart problems caused the tachycardia.

My brother died last November following kidney surgery. Did the surgery cause him to die? No, the doctor thinks he died of a blood clot, and the blood clot could've just have likely been caused by the kidney cancer as the surgery.

People have a way of trying to connect events, and sometimes, those connections aren't valid.

corgimom
38455
Points
corgimom 07/27/13 - 11:15 am
1
0
You know, if my mother had

You know, if my mother had told me at age 11, "You are getting a vaccine against a virus that could cause cancer for you when you are grown", I wouldn't have taken that as an invitation to have sex.

WHO would think that anybody would take that as an invitation to have sex?

corgimom
38455
Points
corgimom 07/27/13 - 11:23 am
1
0
"Get a pap smear-it's a lot

"Get a pap smear-it's a lot safer."

HPV causes more problems then just cervical cancer, what an irresponsble and inaccurate thing to say.

I feel that in the next 10 years, modern medicine is going to find that HPV is responsible for a lot of things, not just cervical cancer.

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