hpv vaccine


More Teens Getting HPV Vaccinations, But Too Many Are Not, CDC Reports

The human papillomavirus, or HPV, contributes to the development of certain types of cancer, prompting health officials to continue to urge parents to get their teens vaccinated against HPV, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, the most recent report from the CDC found that the rate of HPV vaccination in teens stalled for the first time in 10 years by 2022. The percentage of adolescents who were up to date with HPV vaccinations increased from 54.2 percent in 2019 to 58.6 percent in 2020, the CDC said. But the COVID pandemic has considerably slowed routine vaccinations overall in children and adolescents.

“Analyses of recent trends in routine vaccination coverage show declines in coverage by age 13 and 14 years among adolescents born in 2008,” the CDC said. “Among adolescents aged 13–17 years, routine vaccination coverage in 2022 was similar to coverage in 2021. Coverage with HPV vaccine dose declined among adolescents insured by Medicaid.”

Over the last few years, HPV has been making headlines because of the promising development of the HPV vaccine. An estimated 20 million people in the U.S. currently have an active HPV infection, and 80 percent of people — about one in four — will be exposed during their lifetime. HPV cancers include cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus.

Additionally, HPV can infect the upper aero-digestive tract, and cause cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils). These are collectively called “oropharyngeal cancer” — a subset of head and neck cancers. HPV is thought to cause 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States.

HPV vaccination works extremely well, and has the potential to prevent more than 90 prevent HPV-attributable cancers, the CDC states.

Adolescents who get the first dose of the HPV vaccine before their 15th birthday need two doses of it to be protected against cancers caused by HPV, the CDC states. Teens and young adults who start the series at ages 15 through 26 years need three doses of the HPV vaccine to be protected against cancers caused by HPV.

“HPV and the cancers it can cause are a significant public health concern,” says Jose S. Soza, M.D., a family medicine physician with Baptist Health Primary Care. “But awareness and taking proper preventive steps can reduce individuals’ risks now and in the future. We’re hopeful that the steps we’re implementing today will lead to a tangible reduction in the number of cases of HPV-related cancers in the decades ahead.”

Healthcare professionals recommend that patients follow these vaccination schedules to prevent some of the high-risk strains of HPV that have been shown to develop into certain types of cancer.

The CDC guidelines recommendations:

  • Teens and young adults through age 26 years who didn’t start or finish the HPV vaccine series also need HPV vaccination.
  • Routine HPV vaccination should begin at age 11 or 12 years for both boys and girls.
  • Before the age of 15, the recommended immunization is two doses, administered 6 to 12 months apart.
  • After age 15, the CDC recommends three doses of the HPV vaccine, with the second dose administered 1 to 2 months after the first dose, and the third dose given 6 months after the first dose.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

Language Preference / Preferencia de idioma

I want to see the site in English

Continue In English

Quiero ver el sitio en Español

Continuar en español