Why Parents Should Give Their Daughters The HPV Vaccine

by Dr. Jonathan D'Souza
We have wonderful news for your daughters! According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, 10 years of vaccinating against the human papillomavirus (HPV) has cut infections from the cancer-causing virus by 64 percent among teen girls. 

There are more than 100 different strains of HPV, many of which are linked to causing cancer among women. The HPV vaccine targets these cancer-causing strains and helps to keep your daughters safe. 

You may or may not wish to have your daughters vaccinated, the HPV vaccine is completely optional in the US. But before you make your decision, remember that roughly 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the US each year. Also, HPV can also cause genital warts, throat, mouth, anal, and penis cancer. About 27,000 new cases of cancer is due to HPV every year, according to the CDC.

When Should Parents Administer HPV Vaccine?
The benefits of the HPV vaccine can only be reaped if you receive the vaccine before you're infected with any of the HPV strains. The CDC recommends vaccinating girls between ages 11 and 12. The CDC says the vaccine can also be safely administered to girls as young as nine.

Is your preteen too young for a vaccine? Some pediatricians suggest that vaccinating preteens helps to ensure that your daughter will always be safe. 

How Is The HPV Vaccine Administered?
The HPV vaccine is administered in three injections over a six-month period. The vaccine is known to be effective for at least five years. The vaccine does not lose its effectiveness over time, and may provide protection for even longer. Researchers are studying the vaccine's long-term effectiveness and are still determining if a booster vaccine is needed.
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