HPV vaccine

Why Are So Few Kids Getting the HPV Vaccine?

Apr 20, 2016

Ten years after the federal government approved the first vaccines to combat the cancer-causing human papillomavirus, 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 doctors have not embraced the potentially life-saving vaccine.

Low-Income Teens Have Best Shot At Getting HPV Vaccine

Jul 30, 2015

When it comes to getting the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer, teens below the poverty line are doing better than the rest.

Among teenage girls ages 13 to 17 whose total family income was less than the federal poverty level for their family size, 67.2 percent have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine, compared to 57.7 percent for those at or above the poverty line. For teen boys, it's 51.6 percent compared to 39.5 percent.

At a booth at a health fair in Indianapolis, a 27 year-old African American woman named Sasha clicks through a computerized survey about cervical cancer.  “I’m here taking advantage of all the free health screenings they have today, just to find out things to take care of my body,” she says.


Nine years after it was first approved in June 2006, the HPV vaccine has had a far more sluggish entree into medical practice than other vaccines at a similar point in their history, according to a report in Tuesday's JAMA.

This might not surprise those who remember the early days of the human papillomavirus vaccine, which was targeted at girls aged 11 and 12 to prevent a sexually transmitted infection that causes cancer — but which opponents quickly branded as a vaccine that would promote teenage promiscuity.