CDC: HPV vaccinations dropping off
BATON ROUGE - Officials with the Centers for Disease Control fear falling HPV vaccination rates could lead to an increased number of cervical cancer cases.
The HPV vaccine came out in 2006, and by last year just 49 percent of teenage girls had received the first of three shots intended to protect against the human papilloma virus, a sexually-transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer and genital wars.
In Baton Rouge, Dr. Terrie Rosalyn-Thomas said she's noticed the decline in her patients getting the shot over the past year. The vaccine itself is controversial, with an age range from 11 to 26.
"Some of the vaccine is available in pediatrician's offices so, when you talk about an 11-year-old receiving a vaccine against a sexually-transmitted infection I think that's where some parents cringe," said Thomas.
Dr. Thomas said another reason why teens aren't rolling up their sleeves for the shot is because of cost. The average cost of the vaccine is about $205 dollars a shot. Although it is covered by insurance, it can be hard for you to get your insurance company to fully reimburse you.
The CDC reports six million people are infected with HPV per year. About 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Despite the controversy, Dr. Thomas said no reason is worth leaving another generation vulnerable to cancer later in life.