It’s easy to get very busy with school, activities, work, and all of the juggling that parents of preteens and teens do every day. For the sake of your daughter’s health, take the time to get her the life-saving HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.
Why? Every year in the U.S., about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,000 die. If we protect girls now, we could reduce disease and cancer due to HPV. About 20 million people, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV, the type of virus that causes cervical cancer. That’s why it’s important to protect preteen and teen girls early through vaccination.
How? The HPV vaccine is safe and effective and is given in a series of 3 shots over about a six-month period. The second shot is given 1 or 2 months after the first, and the third shot is given 6 months after the first shot. It is very important to complete all of the shots to be fully protected. 35 million doses of HPV vaccine have been safely given to girls across the country.
Who/When? If your daughter is age 11 years or older, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) recommend you vaccinate now to protect her against cervical cancer. If your daughter is older than 11 or 12 and has not started these shots, it’s not too late.
Is it Safe? A news release from the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, dated September 13, 2011:
“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.”
AAP News Release written by: O Marion Burton, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information, visit www.aap.org.