Previous research came to the conclusion that parents who make informed choices support the use of vaccines against the human papilloma virus. An opt-out choice has been introduced recently for the HPV vaccine. However, there are consequences to opting out.
Children whose parents chose not to administer the vaccine do not get protection from cancers caused by the human papilloma virus. Cervical cancer is very widespread and it is normally associated with the virus. HPV is also the culprit for vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, throat and neck cancers.
The HPV vaccine has been proven to protect from almost all types of cervical cancer, most vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers and 91 percent of anal cancers and 72 percent of throat and neck cancers.
This is great news, as 12,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. 4,000 of them die every year because of the disease.
HPV is passed from one person to another through direct skin contact during sex. This is why most sexually active people get the virus over the course of their lifetimes. Many don’t know it. Because in most cases, the HPV clears out on its own and does not show symptoms. The strains that do stay in the body can lead to cancer or genital warts.
In the United States, almost one in four people has an HPV infection. At a rate of eighty million people infected and fourteen million new infections every year, the figures look alarming.
The HPV vaccine is mandatory in just three locations: The district of Columbia, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
While some feel that talking about the vaccine to their children can expose them to sex at younger ages, the vaccine has been proven to work best if administered early.
Those who missed the HPV vaccine when they were young can still get the shot before reaching the age of 26. Beyond that age, the benefits diminish.
For the time being, there are three vaccines available against the HPV virus- Cervarix, Gardasil 9 and Gardasil. These are given in three rounds, two and six months apart.
Common side effects include fever, pain or redness at the injection spot. These side effects happen with almost all vaccines and are not a cause for concern.
Image Source – Wikipedia