What is HPV and should you vaccinate your child?
With kids starting back to school soon, schools will be checking vaccinations, making sure each child is up to speed when it comes to vaccinations. The newest vaccination now being recommended by doctors and schools systems for children between the ages of 11-14 is the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination. It’s all over the television, on almost every channel you see a commercial about the HPV vaccine. Some parents are hesitant to get this vaccination because it is relatively new and involves safeguarding against a sexually transmitted disease his/her child could get in the future.
What is HPV?
HPV is comprised of more than 100 viruses spread through sexual contact. About 79 million Americans have some type of HPV and 14 million more become infected each year. While most people never know they’ve been infected with the virus, it can lead to some very serious problems. HPV can cause cancer in numerous places. .
Is the HPV vaccine safe?
Overwhelming, research shows that the HPV vaccine is very safe. As with any medication, there is always a risk for side effects. Most are very mild, such as a sore arm or feeling tired. Check out the full list of side effects here.
How effective is the vaccine?
Nearly 100% in those individuals who received the complete series of injections as recommended. The first vaccination was given in 2003 and upon follow up examination five years later the vaccine showed no signs of weakening. Experts believe the earlier you get the vaccine the better it will work to protect you long term.
MYTH 1: HPV Isn’t Very Common or Dangerous
MYTH 2: The HPV Vaccine is Too Risky
MYTH 3: My Child Isn’t Sexually Active Yet, so the Vaccine is Unnecessary
MYTH 4: My Daughter Gets Regular Pap Smears, so the HPV Vaccine Isn’t Necessary
MYTH 5: Getting Vaccinated Will Encourage My Teen to Become Sexually Active
MYTH 6: The Vaccine Is Only Really Important for Girls -- And I Have a Son
MYTH 7: If My Kid Gets Vaccinated as a Teen, It Will Wear Off By the Time He Or She Needs It
There are many myths and misconceptions around the HPV vaccination. The best way to decide if your child should receive the HPV vaccinations is to become informed.