The HPV Vaccine prevents an infection that is the leading cause of multiple cancers, yet less than 50% of the target population gets the vaccine.
The HPV Vaccine is distributed in 3 doses over a six-month period.
The human papillomavirus vaccine, commonly known as Gardasil and Cervarix, its commercial names, is known for protecting against cervical cancer in women. It also protects against anal, penile and oropharyngeal cancers. Oropharyngeal cancers are one of the faster growing cancers in the U.S.
The HPV vaccine was initially made available for girls and women in 2006, to protect against the development of cervical cancer later in life. In 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fully recommended the vaccine for both girls and boys between ages 9 and 21. Adolescence is the deal time for vaccination. Vaccination is preferable before the onset of sexual activity, since that’s how the HPV virus is transmitted.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases claims that because the virus is associated with sex, the uptake of the vaccine has been slower than ideal.
Being associated with sex, the vaccine was tainted early on, unfortunately it is a cancer vaccine and should be treated as such.
Researchers believe that the HPV vaccine should be a requirement for entering school. If a vaccine is required for school entry, then there will most likely be a high level of uptake.
Some countries have already taken this initiative. In 2013, Australia’s national health care system adopted a gender neutral HPV vaccine program. As a result 80% of the target population has been vaccinated.
In the U.S. programs such as Medicaid and Vaccines for Children have helped cover the cost of the vaccine for underinsured kids.
Ironically, coverage is better in the inner city, among non-Caucasians. Minorities are also disproportionately more affected by oropharyngeal cancer.