Human papillomavirus: opinion on girls/boys receiving HPV vaccine in grade 5
Free fall writing by: Georgia Doonanco
If you have a child who is at least 9 years old, you may be weighing whether he or she should get vaccinated against human papillomavirus, also referred to HPV. The cervix is the end of the uterus that joins the uterus with the vagina and is very susceptible to cancer. Almost every person who is sexually active will get HPV at some time in their life without HPV vaccination. About 14 million Americans, including teens, become infected with HPV each year. While most HPV infections will go away on their own, infections that don’t go away can cause certain types of cancer. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Men and women can carry it. HPV sometimes plays a role in other cancers as well, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and throat. From research i have learned that there are two HPV vaccines: ‘Gardasil’ and ‘Cervarix’. ‘Gardasil’, which protects against four HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18), is for use by females aged 9-26 to help prevent cancer of the cervix, vagina, and vulva; genital warts, and anal cancer. It's also approved for males aged 9-26 to help prevent genital warts and anal cancer. Consequently, ‘Cervarix’ targets HPV types 16 and 18 (types 16 and 18 are responsible for 65% of cases of cervical cancer). It's approved for females aged 10-25 to help prevent cervical cancer. HPV infections and cervical precancers (abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer) have dropped significantly since the vaccine has been in use. HPV types that cause most HPV cancers and genital warts have dropped 71% among teen girls. Among vaccinated women, the percentage of cervical precancers caused by the HPV types most often linked to cervical cancer dropped by 40%.
Now concerning the idea of receiving the vaccine by grade 5, the HPV vaccine is most effective when the complete series is conducted at a young age. There are several reasons for this. First, it’s best to get vaccinated before exposure, so the best time would be before any sexual activity begins. Statistics show that some children, even as young as 12, have already had sexual encounters that can put them at risk of HPV infection. Cervical cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in women in the world and the HPV vaccine is 83% effective in preventing the spread of HPV in women who had never come in contact with the virus but only 53% effective for those who had previous contact with it. Secondly, studies indicate that the vaccine alsoo produces a greater immune response with a higher antibody count to fight infection when given at a younger age.
The idea of letting your child get the vaccine at a young age arose some economical, ethical and societal issues, however these veiws contradict with what is logical and true and has be argued and supported by science facts. For example, some parents...