Should My Daughter Get the HPV Vaccine?
The answer is yes, she should get vaccinated, and so should your son. The HPV vaccine, which prevents infection from the cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus, is essential. Some parents may not see the need for the vaccine. They’re worried it’s not safe, or they think their kids don’t need it because they’re not sexually active, but HPV now affects over 79 million people and it is very possible to contract the disease without engaging in what many parents consider to be sexual activity.
Increased Promiscuity after HPV Vaccine Concern
While many parents have expressed concerns that a vaccine will promote sexual promiscuity, the truth is, HPV can infect the mouth and be passed orally. Because there is a greater concern that HPV can be passed through kissing, parents want to be sure they understand the increased risk.
The Risk of HPV from Kissing
HPV used to be something that people ignored, but the virus now affects millions. While children aren’t sexually active, they can still get the virus from kissing. Some moms are even blogging about the need for the vaccine given and the growing concern over mouth cancer.
Teens and preteens can contract HPV from kissing. If for example they kiss someone with HPV, this can then be unknowingly passed onto them. When Michael Douglas contracted mouth cancer from HPV, WebMD used this as a reminder that we must take preventative measures.
Most young men and women show no symptoms of having HPV. It can also clear up after 2 years without medication. Unfortunately, carriers of the virus have a much higher chance of getting:
- Genital Warts
- Cancer of the Cervix
- Cancer of the Vulva
- Cancer of the Anus
- Cancer of the Mouth
- Cancer of the Throat
The HPV Statistics are Alarming
According to the CDC’s report, about 27,000 young people are diagnosed each year with cancer caused by HPV. 4,000 of those women die from cancer of the cervix. As HPV is now affecting about 79 million people in the United States, almost everyone who is sexually active is exposed to it.
In regards to safety, the HPV vaccine has been administered to over 67 million children and teens. Mild side effects include dizziness, fever and nausea. Some teens and preteens have been known to faint from the shot, so they should rest for about 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.
Benefits of the HPV Vaccine
The vaccine has benefits on a personal and societal level, as it helps to reduce the spread of HPV, which contributes to stopping the virus altogether. When all teens and preteens have the vaccine, there will be no new hosts to carry the virus. CDC studies on the vaccine have shown it to be very effective in cutting HPV infections and decreasing genital warts.
Girls and boys should get 3 doses (shots) of the HPV vaccine before they turn 13, but it’s recommended that they receive the vaccine between ages 11-12 when their immune response is at its highest and to ensure they’re given the vaccine before they are exposed to the virus in someone else.
Parents in the DFW area with additional questions or concerns should speak to their doctors. Advanced OB GYN Associates can schedule their child for their vaccine. Please call (972) 276-9902. If you live in the Dallas Fort Worth area, schedule an appointment today!