Research has shown that if parents are given the choice to opt out they will be more likely to support the use of vaccines against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Researchers found that just 21 percent of parents supported the HPV vaccine but when an opt-out option was offered, the number rose to 57 percent.
More than 23 percent of the parents surveyed feared that the vaccine could have long-term health effects on their children, while 32 percent said that the vaccine is just another tactic by drug companies to make money.
Until now, HPV vaccines have been proven to prevent nearly all kinds of cervical cancers, a majority of vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers, 91 percent of anal cancer and 72 percent of throat and neck cancers. However, the vaccine is only mandatory, so far, in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Rhode Island.
Unfortunately, only in the U.S., nearly one in every four people have an HPV infection. This means that 14 million people, teens included, are getting infected every year and 80 million people are currently infected with the virus.
Parents are afraid that just by talking about the vaccine they increase the risk of opening up their children to sex at a young age but this vaccine is highly effective if people haven’t been exposed to HPV and is best administered at a very young age.
However, people who haven’t been vaccinated at a young age, are still advised to protect themselves from the virus and get the shot. Specialists noted that the HPV’s vaccine benefits will be too minimal to be of value if administered after the age of 26.
There are three types of vaccines available: Cervarix, Gardasil 9 and Gardasil. Each of them is administered in three rounds. The third vaccine is usually administered six months after the first shot, while the second is administered within two months after the first.
The infection is caused by a human papillomavirus, a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family, of which over 150 types are known. More than 40 types are transmitted through sexual contact and people can be infected with more than one type of HPV.
Risk factors for persistent HPV infections include early age of first sexual intercourse, multiple partners, smoking, and poor immune function.
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