Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (08.29.2013)
A recent CDC study stated that 20 percent of boys received at least one HPV vaccine shot last year, which was “a good start,” according to Shannon Stokley, a vaccination expert with CDC, especially since health officials initially worried it would be difficult to do.
HPV is an STD that often can go away on its own; however, if it progressed, it could cause cervical cancer in women, genital warts in both men and women, and throat and anal cancer. CDC recommended the vaccine for boys more to stop the spread of HPV to girls, thus reducing cervical cancer incidence.
Many vaccines take years to be accepted fully by parents and given widely to children. Meningococcal vaccine had a 12-percent rate in the first few years of initial introduction.
The CDC report, based on telephone interviews with families of approximately 19,000 boys and girls, covered vaccination rates for 2012, the first full year since CDC recommended the shots for boys. It also showed that fewer than 7 percent of boys received the full three-dose series of vaccinations, but the HPV numbers for boys still gave reason to be optimistic, said CDC's Dr. Melinda Wharton. "Given how the coverage level has stalled for girls, though, a solid start isn't enough," she cautioned.
Last year’s rate for girls was 54 percent, which was approximately the same as the previous two years. Only approximately 30 percent of girls received the full three-dose series last year. "We'd really like to do much better with boys and girls," Wharton said.