The Blade (Toledo) (11.14.11) - Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Health officials hope recent findings and new recommendations
will boost the initially disappointing uptake of the human
papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil.
In October, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
recommended Gardasil for young males; ACIP already had
recommended that young females be vaccinated against HPV. The
STD causes cancers of the cervix, vulva, penis, anus, and
throat, as well as genital warts. In addition, a recent study
in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found
that HPV-infected women were two to three times more likely
than uninfected women to have had a heart attack or stroke.
"It's about preventing cancer," said Dr. Ziad Jarra, a Toledo-
area pediatrician. "Boys can transmit the infection to girls.
By giving the injection to boys, we're indirectly protecting
Referring to the recommended age for giving the vaccine, Jarra
acknowledged, "People don't like to think about their 11- or
12-year-old having sex. Not enough people are educated about
what the vaccine is. It's really an anti-cancer vaccine."
"We get them vaccinated against other diseases, so why not
cancer?" asked Sylvania mom Marilyn Newman. She said her son
and daughter were young adults when the vaccine was
introduced, but had they been younger, she would have
"definitely gotten them vaccinated."
"They're talking about sex education at a young age now, and
if parents are OK with that, they should be OK talking about
this," Newman said. "You just never know what your kid is
going to do."
Stephanie Jones of Adrian said she will "more than likely" get
her 10-year-old daughter vaccinated against HPV in the future
but is less certain about the girl's twin brother. "I'll have
to do some research and talk it over with my pediatrician,"
Jones said. "I don't know much about that one yet."