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Duke Medicine: Many girls missing out on benefits of HPV vaccine

Posted November 2, 2011

The HPV vaccine was in the news last week when a government medical panel recommended the shot, designed originally for girls, also be given to boys.

The vaccine protects girls against cervical cancer later in life. For boys, the vaccine can prevent genital warts and anal cancer. It can also help prevent the spread of the human papilloma virus through sex, according to an Associated Press article about the recent recommendation and some of the controversy surrounding the vaccine. Click here to read more.

I spoke with Dr. Madhvi M Thakkar of North Hills Internal Medicine before last week's recommendation about the HPV vaccine. North Hills Internal Medicine in Raleigh is part of Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor. Go Ask Mom editor Sarah Lindenfeld Hall and Dr. Madhvi Thakkar of North Hills Internal Medicine Duke Mecidine: Many girls missing out on benefits of the HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine has been on the market for about five years now. But Thakkar tells me that only about 50 percent of girls have received it. It's designed for ages 9 to 26, though most pediatricians recommend it when children reach 11 or 12 years. It's best if the vaccine is given before girls become sexually active.

"This is something that can be simple enough and you can protect your young daughter for cervical cancer," Thakkar tells me. "We have a lot of work to do."

For more about what the vaccine is, what it prevents and how it's given, watch my interview with Dr. Thakkar. And check back next Wednesday for more about the vaccination for boys.

North Hills Internal Medicine is in Raleigh. Duke Medicine also offers health tips and advice here every Tuesday.


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  • rachel6 Nov 3, 2011

    This is a decision that my children will get to make about their own bodies...once they are old enough to have been educated on risks of sex and risks of vaccine. I want to know they are old enough to understand the potential consequences of each and that there has been better research done on the vaccine.

  • Killian Nov 2, 2011

    This vaccine has way too many potential risk factors still. It's not gone through enough trials, and there has been sufficient cases of dangerous reactions that there is no way my kids were getting it.

    I told them that until they were 18, it was out of the question. At that point, they could do the research, and if they chose to get it, I would take them to do so. But all 3 of them have refused to even consider it. They prefer a life of personal responsibility instead.

  • busyb97 Nov 2, 2011

    I was just going to say something like that mirandadavis17. Maybe the parents aren't buying into the hype surrounding this vaccine.

  • mirandadavis17 Nov 2, 2011

    Maybe it's because their parents have watched this video.

    OR read one of the many reports detailing vaccine injuries in otherwise healthy girls after receiving this vaccine.

    Or they just don't trust Big Pharmas money funding the very studies that the CDC uses to tell this vaccine is "safe"