Source: Reprinted with permission from Why Are So Few Kids Getting the HPV Vaccine? by Michael Ollove, 2016. Stateline © 2014, The Pew Charitable Trusts. All rights reserved.
Ten years after the federal government approved the first vaccines to combat the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), nine years after those vaccines were recommended for all adolescent girls, and five years after they were recommended for all adolescent boys, less than half of girls and only a fifth of boys are getting immunized.
Despite state efforts to raise vaccination rates, public health officials say that for a variety of reasons, mainly wariness over the HPV’s association with sex, parents and especially physicians have not embraced the potentially life-saving vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2014, only 40% of girls ages 13 to 17 had completed the three-vaccine course of HPV immunization. (And just 22% of boys had done so.) That’s well short of the 80% goal set in 2010 by the federal government in its Healthy People 2020 report, which established health objectives for the nation.
Even states that require HPV inoculation for school admission or mandate that schools teach students about the virus have fallen far short of the federal benchmark.
“We think the rates are dismally low and very alarming,” said Amy Pisani, executive director of Every Child by Two, a nonprofit that aims to reduce instances of vaccine-preventable illnesses. “We clamor and clamor for a vaccine to get rid of these terrible diseases and yet we aren’t implementing them.”
Read the full article in The Pew Charitable Trusts Stateline.
Every year 1,157 Ohioans get cancer caused by HPV. Despite its high rates of HPV related cancer, Ohio’s HPV vaccination rates remain well below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% for both males and females. Less than two thirds of females 13-17 have initiated the HPV vaccination series. In males 13-17, only one-third have initiated the series.
For more information regarding HPV in Ohio, please contact Jill Price with the Ohio Department of Health or call 614.728.3106.