Many vaccinations are required when applying to college. One vaccine that isn’t mandatory is the HPV vaccine. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer in men and women.
HPV is also the number one most sexually transmitted virus in the United States, according to the New York Times. Doctors recommend teenagers getting the vaccination before their first sexual encounter because at that point they have not been introduced to HPV.
The New York Times reported that not many teenagers have received these shots because the vaccination has not been proven to work one hundred percent, and it is not mandatory for school like other vaccinations more commonly used.
In recent studies, the prevalence of the four strains of HPV have been dramatically reduced in girls, according to the New York Times. Another benefit is, the teenagers who receive the shot are helping the teenagers who haven’t because they’re not spreading the disease.
“The vaccination has always been controversial because people think it will cause other illnesses and diseases,” senior psychology major Nicole Parrish said. “All of these beliefs are causing less and less people to get the vaccination for the sake of not bringing back terrible diseases that are almost out of the United States.”
According to the New York Times, the researchers are now working on ways to lower the dosage instead of receiving three shots. Australia and Rwanda have above a 90 percent immunization rate because the vaccine is either mandatory and/or offered for free to teenage girls and boys.
To increase usage of the vaccine, researchers believe a strong provider will have to recommend or require the vaccine, according to the New York Times. They are also shifting the focus away from “sexually transmitted” and genital warts” more towards cancer to make adults more concerned and educated about the issue.
If you have any more questions on the HPV vaccine, contact your physician, and he or she should give you all the information you need to be more aware of human papillomavirus.