Debating the HPV vaccine

The beginning of school is when most parents start to think more about vaccines.

One vaccine that is getting particular attention this year is the vaccine that protects young females and males against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause genital warts and , at worst, various types of cancer.

About 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with  the virus. Each year, about 14 million people become newly infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine, which studies show is effective,  is administered as three injections over a specific period of time.

The CDC recently said that the number of young people getting the vaccine is not increased significantly over time, in part because the agency said some physicians are recommending it to patients and their parents but not enough.

Have you had your children vaccinated against HPV? Do you think it’s necessary?

And if you want to share your thoughts with my AJC colleague Shelia Poole working on a story on this subject, you can e-mail her



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