Finally in the nursing news this week we take a look at another prevention effort that is not being as effective as expected. According to reports from the CDC and other researchers less than half of the American girls who could be receiving the HPV vaccine are getting it. The vaccine provides protection agains most types of cervical cancers and more than 90% of genital warts.
HPV Infection Rates Rise in Teen Years
According to recommendations, girls should start receiving the HPV vaccine in a 3 dose series starting at ages 11-12. The vaccine is supposed to be given before the child becomes sexually active. According to studies, HPV infection rates go up every year from age 14 to age 24 when young people are most sexually active. But, once they are infected the vaccine is ineffective.
The most recent data shows that only about half of the eligible girls in the U.S. are getting the HPV vaccine and researchers say that more needs to be done to encourage more eligible teens and pre-teens to get it. This means that, as with other vaccines, health care professionals like nurses need to do more to educate and encourage eligible girls AND boys to get the HPV vaccine series.
There are some excellent resources for teens, parents and healthcare professionals at the CDC.gov site for the HPV vaccine. I urge you to check out the link in the show notes for this episode or in this article to follow up on this information and to do what needs to be done to get your young patients protected.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Opiate Addiction Treatment Options Explored and Episode 331.