Monday, July 18, 2016

HPV Vaccine; for Girls AND Boys

 Update: SPS did get back to me - the HPV vaccination is available at every health center in SPS.  Really good news.

end of update

I've noticed - in print and on tv - that the CDC is pushing the HPV vaccine with a new emphasis on the issues for boys as well as girls.

Official handout from the CDC.
Many people think the HPV vaccine only protects girls, but this vaccine protects boys against certain HPV-related cancers, too!

Girls aren’t the only ones affected by HPV, also known as human papillomavirus.  HPV is common in both males and females. Every year, over 9,000 males are affected by cancers caused by HPV infections that don’t go away. HPV can cause cancers of the anus, mouth/throat (oropharynx), and penis in males.
HPV vaccination is a series of shots given over several months. The best way to remember to get your child all of the shots they need is to make an appointment for the remaining shots before you leave the doctor’s office or clinic. 
HPV vaccine is recommended at ages 11-12 for two reasons:
  1. HPV vaccine must be given before exposure to virus for it to be effective in preventing cancers and other diseases caused by HPV.
  2. HPV vaccine produces a high immune response at this age.
If you haven’t already vaccinated your preteens and teens, it's not too late. Ask your child's doctor at their next appointment about getting HPV vaccine. The series is three shots over six months' time. Take advantage of any visit to the doctor—such as an annual health checkup or physicals for sports, camp, or college—to ask the doctor about what shots your preteens and teens need.

Families who need help paying for vaccines should ask their doctor or other healthcare professional about Vaccines for Children (VFC). The VFC program provides vaccines at no cost to children younger than 19 years who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, American Indian, or Alaska Native. For help in finding a local healthcare professional who participates in the program, parents can call 800-CDC-INFO or go to the Vaccines & Immunizations website.
There is no treatment for HPV infections. Only HPV-associated lesions including genital warts, RRP, precancers, and cancers are treated (101–103). Recommended treatments vary depending on the diagnosis, size, and location of the lesion. Local treatment of lesions might not eradicate all HPV containing cells fully; whether available therapies for HPV-associated lesions reduce infectiousness is unclear.
Vaccinating adults

Girls and women are recommended to get HPV vaccine through age 26, and boys and men through age 21. HPV vaccination is also recommended for gay and bisexual young men (or any young man who has sex with men) through age 26 and young men with weakened immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not start or finish the HPV vaccine series when they were younger.

Vaccines are especially critical for people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes Type 1 and Type 2.
I believe the health centers in every comprehensive high school have this vaccination available but I will double-check.


Anonymous said...

As my son's doctor pointed out, it's boys who spread the virus to girls so they are the disease vector. Boys have been getting the vaccine for several years now.


Melissa Westbrook said...

True but I think the point is that most people don't think that far and believe the bad outcomes are only for girls.

Outsider said...

And it only costs $400.

Line forms to the left; no pushing !!

Melissa Westbrook said...

I believe most insurance covers it and, as I have in the thread, it is possible to get it free if you are low-income.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to me. If you want to stop an STD you want to cover the other 50% of the participants. I believe Michael Douglas also attributed his tongue cancer in part to HPV (along with other risk factors like smoking).


Jet City mom said...

This is an important vaccine. Im happy it is available in schools.

Anonymous said...

Group Health paid for it for my son.

Anonymous said...

Having a teen myself, this topic came up in my "Mom group" the other day and I was surprised (though maybe I should not have been)at how many moms did NOT agree to this for their kids. The two common reasons given were that it's all a scam by Big Pharma (and these are well-educated, professionals) and religion-their children are not to have sex before marriage so no vaccine needed.

Sigh and Sigh again.

Pro Vax

Anonymous said...

Insurance varies - some only cover the HPV vaccine up to a certain age (all doses by age 18?). Check with your provider.


Jet City mom said...

As far as I know, there is not anything special about HPV that makes married ( or engaged) people immune.

Youth have been sexually active before marriage for centuries. Parents are not special when they are in denial regarding their childrens behavior.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Jet City mom is right - why would being married make you immune? (unless you truly believe that your partner had no sexual activity, including oral sex, before marriage - and good luck with that.)

I feel sorry for those moms - I hope they talk to their pediatrian.

hschinske said...

So does getting kids tetanus injections mean you're sending the message that it's okay to step on rusty nails? Geez. I don't think my kids paid a whole lot of attention to what they were immunized for anyway. They just knew it was yet another shot.

Also, not all sexual activity is voluntary. "Saving yourself" doesn't mean you can't get raped.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Yes, agreed, Helen. And Melissa (and Jet City Mom) one of the moms is a doctor's wife! But she is also an extreme fundamentalist who believes that her children will not only not have sex before marriage but neither will her children's spouses. We didn't get into the rape discussion. I personally am behind the HPV vax, as with others. It shocks me that these women are willing to put their kids at risk as they do. I can't exactly change their minds. But other moms and I sure spoke up.

We have Group Health, byw, and it does cover the vaccine. Haven't need to ask if they'll cover it after 18 since we got it earlier.

Pro Vax

Anonymous said...

So I have advised my kids not to get the vaccine. Still too many people damaged by it. Lawsuits going forward in many countries. Japan no longer recommends it. We are limited vaxxers.


Melissa Westbrook said...

"The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is not suspending the use of the vaccination, but it has instructed local governments not to promote the use of the medicine while studies are conducted on the matter.

So far, an estimated 8.9 million people have received the vaccination, out of which, 176 cases of possible side effects, including body pain, have been reported. (Note, the Health Ministry was investigating 43 adverse events out of around 3.3 million HPV vaccinations.)

The ministry’s task force have focused closely on those cases. However, a cause-and-effect relationship between the vaccination and the pain and numbness could not be established, so the task force members called for further studies by the ministry.

The ministry’s investigation is expected to take several months. It will then decide whether to reinstate or continue to withhold its recommendation for the vaccination."

So they are telling cities not to promote it but they can still use it.