Source: Minnesota Daily (MN)
By: Largent, Branden
A recent study in Pediatrics shows a 4 percentage point increase in the number of parents refusing to have their 13- to 17-year-old children vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) from 2008 to 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that slightly less than 35 percent of girls in this age range received all three doses of the HPV vaccine in 2011. Mark Schleiss, pediatrics professor at the University of Minnesota, says some parents assume that vaccination increases sexual activity, but an October 2012 study published in Pediatrics indicates no difference in sexual activity among vaccinated and unvaccinated girls. “I think one of the most important things that can be done is to educate people about the real risk-benefit ratios of vaccines,” he says. Lisa Randall, adolescent and adult immunization outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Health, says the department has sent reminders and educational materials to physician offices and will send clinics reports of their HPV vaccine rates. “We’re serious about HPV. It is every bit as important as the childhood vaccines and other adolescent vaccines,” she says.