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(NEW YORK) -- The number of teens receiving vaccines for the human papillomavirus (HPV) remains "unacceptably low," officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.
Girls and boys between the ages of 13 and 17 are not being vaccinated for HPV, despite a slight increase in vaccination coverage since 2012, according to data from the CDC's 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen.
While it prevents various forms of cancer, the vaccine remains "underutilized," according to the agency. Experts cite a "substantial gap" between the number of adolescents receiving tetanus, diphteria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, and those for HPV.
An estimated 57 pecent of teen girls and 35 percent of ten boys received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine, while nearly 86 percent received a dose of the agent for Tdap.
“It’s frustrating to report almost the same HPV vaccination coverage levels among girls for another year,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “Preteens need HPV vaccine today to be protected from HPV cancers tomorrow.”
The study also showed that clinician recommendations played a large role in whether or not parents chose to get their children vaccinated. For those that decided to get their daughters vaccinated against HPV, 74 percent received a tip from a health care professional, compared to 52 percent who did not. For boys, 72 percent of parents who chose to vaccinate their sons received a recommendation, compared to 26 percent of parents who did not.
Not receiving information from a clinician on for HPV was one of the five main reasons parents listed for not choosing the vaccine.
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