A recent national survey including almost 600 doctors claims that most physicians don’t urge the HPV vaccine on pre-teens, even though more than 80 percent of pediatricians frequently discuss it with their patients.
The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was licensed in 2006. It was manufactured to protect against only four of the more than 100 different human papillomavirus strains, which are spread by sex and can cause several types of cancer, including cervical cancer. The government wants girls and boys to get the vaccine before they are sexually active, around the ages of 11 and 12.(1,3)
The authors, headed by University of Colorado researcher Dr. Allison Kempe, surveyed 582 pediatricians and family physicians by mail or online nearly two years ago. The doctors were part of a nationwide network, which had participated in similar surveys in the past. The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.(1)
The objectives of the study were to describe self-reported practices about recommending the HPV vaccine, estimate the parental deferral of HPV vaccination and highlight characteristics associated with not discussing it.
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