The HPV Vaccine Shouldn’t Be An Optional Thing
There’s a lot of mumbo jumbo out there about vaccines. When people start trusting the uneducated opinion of a former Playboy centerfold over the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you know we’ve taken a collective step down the road to Crazytown.
Fortunately, if you want to send your child to school he or she will need to be vaccinated for measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, polio, and other heinous diseases.
But there is another vaccine that is still voluntary, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The CDC recommends both boys and girls receive the HPV vaccine at ages 11-12, although it is still recommended through age 26 if your kids were older when the HPV first started to make news.
We offer the HPV vaccine at Women’s Health Medical Group.
<h2>What is the human papillomavirus?</h2>
The human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. There are over 200 types of HPV. About 40 of those can infect your genital area — the vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, and scrotum. They can also affect the mouth and throat. Some of these can lead to genital warts and certain types of cancer.
Genital HPV infections are very, very common. It’s thought that most people who have sex get the papillomavirus at some point in their lives. Most people with HPV have no symptoms and feel fine, and they don’t even know they’re infected. Most of these genital infections run their course and pass on their own, but others are more ominous and can cause genital warts and certain cancers.
- HPV types 6 and 11 cause most cases of genital warts.
- HPV types 16 and 18 lead to the majority of cancer cases. Cervical cancer is most commonly linked to HPV, but HPV can also cause cancer in the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, and throat.
Getting the HPV vaccine is the best way to prevent your child (or yourself) from potentially getting the strains of HPV that can lead to cancer.
<h2>When is the time to get the vaccine?</h2>
The CDC recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine for all boys and girls ages 11-12. At this age two doses are given, the second from 6-12 months after the first dose. If your child is 15 or over, he or she will need three doses given over a period of six months. The vaccine is recommended for everyone through age 26.
To get your child or yourself vaccinated with the HPV vaccine, please call us at Women’s Health Medical Group, (817) 346-5336.