Dr. Corso's med blog: Vaccination Guidelines Get It Right With HPV

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Vaccination Guidelines Get It Right With HPV

The CDC reported that one in four women has HPV, further supporting guidelines from major health groups calling for the widespread vaccination of 11 and 12-year-old girls.

I believe these guidelines are well thought out and target those patients where a concentrated effort at vaccination will do the most good, both for the individuals receiving treatment and for the future population of adults that these adolescent ladies will become. One often-overlooked benefit of individual vaccination is this: the greater the percentage of people immune to a viral disease, the harder it becomes for the virus to spread. It is possible to actually wipe a virus out of existence by only vaccinating “most” people.

The FDA has approved the vaccination for girls and women between the ages of 9 to 26, but it is best to vaccinate the patient before they become exposed to HPV, that is, before the onset of sexual activity. True, many women in their 20’s are not yet infected, but the risk jumps up with every new sexual partner, especially since this is a largely invisible infection in both men and women. This vaccination covers the four most common/destructive strains.

My daughter and a friend are slated to receive the first injection next week. We will be paying cash for it as it’s not covered by our insurance. No matter. We are just thrilled that this wonderful breakthrough exists. The benefit is more than worth the price.


Anonymous matt - MN said...

I am fine with developing the vaccine and making it available to the general public, but I am entirely against the push to make the vaccine mandatory, as the governor of Texas is trying to do in his state. To force 11/12 yr old girls to receive a vaccine (one that is quite new and tested to a limited degree) against a sexually transmitted disease is absurd... not to mention the vaccine only protects against 4 of the many strains of known HPV virus...

4:16 PM  

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