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Study: HPV Vaccine Doesn't Encourage Risky Sexual Activity

CDC Survey Shows No Evidence That Vaccine Encourages Risk Taking Among Adolescents and Young Women

HPV Vaccination Rates Lagging

In a report released last August, CDC officials reported that HPV vaccination rates among teens are lagging behind two other vaccines introduced for the age group at close to the same time.

Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, of the CDC, says it appears many health care providers are not offering the HPV vaccine to their young female patients at age 11 or 12 as recommended, but are instead vaccinating girls later.

Wharton is deputy director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

“There is a sense that it is OK to wait until closer to the time that teens become sexually active,” she tells WebMD. “The problem is that you may be waiting until it is too late for vaccination to have an impact.”

She says pediatricians and other health care providers need to recommend the HPV vaccine as strongly as they recommend other immunizations.

The study is published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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