facebook-24x24

In the age of social media, drama travels fast.

Parents of pre-teens and teens whose doctors recommend they receive the cancer-preventing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine might find plenty of unsubstantiated reasons on the internet to not get the vaccine: it’s easy for stories—true or not—to be uploaded to a chat room and read across the globe in a matter of hours.

Careful answers to parents’ basic concerns about safety and effectiveness take a lot longer. As a Congolese proverb reminds us: “Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but it gets here eventually.”

The safety monitoring of HPV vaccine has been a long walk up many steps. We now have over a decade of surveillance data on vaccine reactions since the original version of vaccine was licensed in 2006.

There are some common reactions—irritation at the injection site may occur, and some patients may get a fever or headache. Before administering the vaccine, your doctor will check with you about any possible contraindications. Anyone who has had a previous allergic reaction to the vaccine, or who has an allergy to yeast, should not be given the vaccine. Severe allergic reactions are very rare—CDC estimates they may occur in around one in a million doses. Your doctor’s staff will keep your child under observation for 15 minutes after the shot to treat possible fainting or anaphylactic reactions.

But the evidence is clear: for almost all adolescents, the benefits of HPV vaccine in preventing cancer and genital warts far outweigh the risks.

A study on HPV vaccine effectiveness done at the University of New Mexico by Dr. Cosette Wheeler and her colleagues found it to be even better than what scientists expected when the vaccine was introduced in 2006. Last year they reported in a JAMA Oncology article that the incidence of cervical neoplasia (abnormal cell growth on the cervix) among girls 15 to 19 years old decreased by about 50% from 2007 to 2014.

There’s more good news for shot-shy pre-teens: Based on studies showing that only two doses of the vaccine provided protection for younger ages, CDC lowered the recommended number of doses this year from three to two for teens younger than 15.

New Mexico parents can face many difficult choices, but deciding to vaccinate their teens against cancer shouldn't be one of them. They can be confident in their doctor’s recommendation to have them receive HPV vaccine at the same time as they get their other back-to-school shots.

 Daniel Burke, MPH                                              Brian Etheridge, MD, FAAP 

NMDOH, Chief Infectious Disease Bureau          President, NM Pediatric Society

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
captcha 
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

The Beat as a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  

WARNING:

All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com