Is This Why You Aren’t Vaccinating Your Teenager for HPV?

teenagers-HPV-vaccine A recent study (MMWR. 2013; 62:591-5)) examined why parents are not vaccinating their teenage girls for the HPV virus. Do any of these reasons resonate with you?

1.  It’s not needed or necessary.

Perhaps because your daughter or son is young and there is no way, no how, that she/he would be sexually active right now or any time in the near future? Okay, believe me, we get it. Our kids aren’t having sex until they are 30 years old. But right now is the perfect time for them to get the HPV vaccination – before they are exposed. That’s what prevention is all about.

2.  The HPV vaccine is not recommended by our medical provider.

Are you sure about that? Because if your physician, nurse or physician assistant is following the medical guidelines, the HPV vaccine is most likely recommended for your healthy daughter or son when she/he is 11 or 12 years old.

3.  I’m concerned about the safety and/or side effects of the HPV vaccine.

We understand --- unfortunately there has been a great deal of misinformation circulating about this (and other) vaccine for years. Here are the facts:

The HPV vaccine has been licensed since 2006 by the FDA and more than 50 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed. Before licensing by the FDA, years of extensive safety testing is required. The vaccine has been monitored extensively since 2006 by the Centers for Disease Control and no serious safety concerns have been correlated.

4.  My child is not sexually active.

Much as you would never wait for your child to fall out of a canoe before throwing him a life jacket, you don’t want to wait until your child is in a high-risk situation before giving him the HPV vaccination. Now is the time to act.

5.  I don’t have enough knowledge about the vaccine.

Hopefully now you have a lot more. If you want more information, here are some additional resources:

Center for Disease Control

Planned Parenthood

Cancer.gov

Photo credit: © Highwaystarz | Dreamstime.com