Posted at: 10/22/2013 6:23 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Mayo Study Blames Perception for Fewer HPV Vaccines
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Despite universal recommendations the rate of teens getting the HPV vaccines is at only 35 percent. A new study by the Mayo Clinic says parents perceptions may be to blame.
We went out during lunch Tuesday to find out what parents think about the HPV vaccine. What we found, most parents didn’t know much about it or they didn’t care and only one mom was willing to talk with us.
"I've done a lot of research on the vaccine and I believe that children should be vaccinated against HPV," said Lindsay Olson.
Olson says after seeing the numbers it wasn't hard to decide to vaccinate both of her young boys against HPV.
"I'm sure many will be surprised how many people actually have the disease," said Olson.
It's the number of people that aren't aware of how serious of a problem HPV is that has Mayo Clinic doctors concerned.
"Eighty percent of all Americans will eventually suffer this infection and many carry it for many years," said Dr. Robert Jacobson.
HPV infections can lead to cervical cancer. Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Jacobson says parental perceptions are still their biggest barrier in vaccinating children and preventing HPV infections and therefore cancer.
"They still think there are safety issues and we have proven that the vaccines are safe, and then there’s the concern that were are vaccinating too early and in fact we're are vaccinating them when their immune systems are stable and can best respond to it," said Dr. Jacobson.
Recent figures show that at least 12,000 unvaccinated females develop cervical cancer each year.
Dr. Jacobson suggests all parents educate themselves on the disease and the vaccine.
Because of her research, Olson hopes they do as well.
"We can prevent cancer that way," said Olson.
In the U.S. about 21,000 cancers are diagnosed each year that come from an HPV infection.