Fourth of teenage girls got HPV vaccine, CDC reports

  • Follow Metro

More than a fourth of teen girls in the United States received a shot to protect them against a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. A Medical College of Georgia researcher who conducts clinical trials on the shot said he is disappointed it isn't more.

It is the first time the CDC has been able to report on coverage rates for the shot that protects against human papillomavirus, or HPV.

The vaccine, marketed under the name Gardasil, was approved in 2006 for females age 9-26 and was added to the list of recommended immunizations for girls ages 11 and 12 by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The second annual immunization survey of children ages 13-17 focused on that shot and two others added since 2005: a meningococcal conjugate vaccine and a tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine.

The survey found that 25.1 percent of girls, an estimated 2.5 million, had received the HPV vaccine.

"This is very good for a first-year measurement for a new vaccine," said Dr. Lance Rodewald, the director of the Division of Immunization Services at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

That does not cover all of the teens and women who have received it -- the company said it has shipped 15 million doses so far, he said. The CDC survey was designed to see how many are getting the dose at the recommended 11- to 12-year-old range, Dr. Rodewald said.

MCG researcher Daron G. Ferris, who conducted extensive studies on the HPV vaccine before it was approved and has ongoing trials on it, said he wishes more had been covered.

"I think 25 percent is great," Dr. Ferris said. "It's better than zero, but I would have hoped that would be, in two years, at least half if not more. I think we need to go a long way. We haven't done enough yet to get the target age group properly vaccinated to prevent these diseases."

Data has been submitted to increase the age limit to 45, but the FDA has yet to approve it, he said. Dr. Ferris hopes that will happen this year or in 2009.

He also has a clinical trial to study the HPV shot in boys that should wrap up in the next few months.

"If there are promising findings, we'll have a vaccine for boys, I would hope available by next year as well," he said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or


Vaccine proponents had been hoping for much higher vaccination rates, saying the shots could dramatically reduce the nearly 4,000 cervical cancer deaths that occur each year in the United States. Some reasons why families might have opted to not get the vaccine:

- Sometimes families are cautious about the safety of new vaccines.

- It is expensive, retailing for about $375, though many health insurers cover it.

- There are questions about whether it confers lifetime immunity or whether a booster shot will be needed.


The CDC also studied other teen vaccination rates:

- About 32 percent of teens got a recommended meningitis shot, up from 12 percent in a 2006 survey.

- About 30 percent got another relatively new shot, one that guards against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. That's up from 11 percent in the survey the year before.

- About 75 percent to 90 percent of children have had the better-known vaccinations that have long been required by schools, such as chickenpox, hepatitis B and measles, mumps and rubella, the study found.

-- Associated Press

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
soldout 10/10/08 - 09:54 am
Dr. Mercola has the following

Dr. Mercola has the following thoughts on this: Merck's Gardasil vaccine is supposed to prevent young women from getting cervical cancer. Now the FDA has approved a claim for two less common cancers as well. But whether it will actually prevent any kind of cancer is actually unknown.

Meanwhile, as of July the federal government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has received over 9,700 reports of problems since the vaccine's introduction in 2006. These include paralysis, seizures, and miscarriage. Twenty deaths have been reported, although the government has not acknowledged a link yet.

Vaccines were originally developed to protect the public from extremely contagious diseases spread primarily by air. Now dangerous and unproven vaccines are being mandated in the hope they will guard against diseases that require very intimate contact to transmit.

msitua 10/10/08 - 04:54 pm
This is absolutely

This is absolutely disgusting. The CDC is still pushing an unsafe vaccine with 225 micrograms of aluminum in it besides the other toxins. Check out some of the Vaers reporting of vaccine reactions. There are literally hundreds of bad reactions, many of them permanent, including some girls becoming paralyzed. Not to mention those who have died from it. And for what?
Thank you Lori, whoever you are, for being the one voice of sanity in an artilce that is very much one-sided and biased.
Maurine Meleck

msitua 10/10/08 - 04:58 pm
Now one for boys???????????

Now one for boys??????????? How come not one for one day old babies-If they need the Hepb at 1 day old, surely the HPV vaccine is also appropriate for those sexually active infants.
Follow the money trail-no other reason for this insanity.
Maurine Meleck

gnx 10/10/08 - 09:08 pm
As usual they forget to

As usual they forget to mention that Gardasil supposedly protects against only FOUR strains of the many HPV viruses out there, not all of them. If you're going to have to pay that much money for a vaccine AND possibly risk your life or health by taking it shouldn't it cover all strains? Also, reporters fail to mention this is yet another drug fast tracked through the FDA, an already beleaguered system that can't even tell us the source of contamination for this past year's food scare. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it? I'm sorry if people feel offended by these statements, I definitely wouldn't have my daughter vaccinated until the drug was proven to be relatively safe after several years of testing and a complete approval process. Think of other drugs once deemed safe by the FDA and prescribed to the masses - Vioxx, Baycol, Avandia, Ketek, Meridia, Rezulin, etc... Those as yet unaffected by these drugs may have been able to stop dosing but must still worry if their bodies have been damaged in any way. You can't undo a vaccination. Once it's in your system it's there.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
Crash kills Augusta man, 57
The coroner says an autopsy is planned, possibly Friday, into the death of an Augusta man killed Wednesday night in a single-car accident.