Since the release of the HPV vaccine in 2006, the number of cases of HPV has been significantly reduced according to the CDC. The numbers have exceeded the predictions that were made when the drug was first released. Dr. Thomas Frieden of the CDC reports that the number of cases of HPV in girls ages 14-19 has been cut in half. There was a 56% decrease in the number of cases of HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 which are the four main types that are targeted by the vaccine.
The numbers come as somewhat of a surprise considering that only about a third of the girls who get the vaccine actually get all three shots. Others only get the first, and sometimes the second shot. This may be because more and more are getting the vaccine so there is less of the virus spread around, or the girls that don’t get all of the shots could have a good immune system. Even though these numbers are great, Dr. Frieden states that the CDC was hoping to have at least 80% of girls in this age group vaccinated and that has not happened. He is hoping that these successful numbers will help more people to decide on getting the vaccine.
Doctors and parents are splitting the blame for the number of girls that have not gotten the vaccine. Doctors are not doing enough to educate their patients on the vaccine and are not recommending it to nearly as many girls as they should. Parents most often say that it is not needed because they do not believe that their teen is sexually active. They also sometimes have concerns about giving their child vaccines.
HPV is the most common STD in the US and affects 79 million Americans. There are 14 million new cases every year. HPV is responsible for over two-thirds of the cervical cancer cases that are seen and can also be responsible for neck, head, and anal cancers.