Most people know what vaccines are and have received them during our childhood years; but past that knowledge, most people do not think much about vaccines until we have children of our own. Some parents are more skeptical than others on the topic of vaccinations, but most parents choose this preventative measure in protecting their children from harmful diseases. However, in the case of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, there is quite a controversy as to if it is appropriate to administer the vaccine to pre-teen to teenage children. Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually-transmitted infection in the United States; an estimated 14 million persons are newly infected every year (Satterwhite, Torrone, and Meites, et al). According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov), the age for vaccination is ages 11-12 for girls and, as of 2014, ages 11-12 for boys. The extremely young age recommended for protection against a sexually transmitted disease has made many parents unwilling, or at least, leery to follow the recommendation. There is fear that, if you allow your child to receive the HPV vaccine, there is an unspoken approval of the parent for the teenager to become sexually active. Although the need for parental sex education is not being dismissed as important, the HPV vaccine is crucial to a child’s health and should be a mandated vaccine for all children in the recommended age range despite his or her current sexual activity.
There are certain risks with every vaccine and the HPV vaccine is not above these factors. According to the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the vaccine is not safe for pregnant women, persons with a...
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...essary, safety/side effect concerns, not being recommended by the child’s physician, and the child not being sexually active at the current time.
Given all these facts, it is imperative that Americans take immediate action on the education and administration of the HPV vaccine. Teenagers around the county and even the world are being exposed on a daily basis; as adults it is our duty to protect the younger generation from preventable health issues. Americans need to stand together and demand more education and physician-to-parent communication regarding this hot topic, in the interest of lowering the HPV outbreak currently working on the 21th-century teenage population. Imagine a world with minimal cases of cervical cancer and one less STD infecting the youth. It is time. Today, March 7th 2016, let it be the day that parents stand up and take action against HPV.
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