The HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine lags far behind other adolescent vaccines when it comes to immunization rates. In 2016, 60% of adolescents received at least one dose of HPV, while 88% received the vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. All of those diseases are serious, and HPV causes six types of cancer, so it would seem an obvious choice for parents to get both of those vaccines.
We wanted to know why parents were not getting their children the HPV vaccine. Are they driven away by anti-vaccine fears? Are doctors making it difficult for them to get the vaccine? Do they not know it exists?
For answers, we talked to Dr. Noel Brewer, a health behavior expert from the University of North Carolina and the chair of the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable.
Links from the episode:
Guardian Facebook article