Trading gold for brass

The United States continues to trail the rest of the world in HPV immunization rates, even though Gardasil®9 is proven to prevent cancer. This quote is the most succinct and compelling argument we have seen and we wanted to share it with you:

“While it was hoped that school requirements for Tdap and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) immunization might also increase rates of HPV immunization, this appears not to be the case. Unfortunately, parents and providers confuse what is required for school with what is most important for protection of adolescents. In the United States, pertussis kills approximately 20 people per year, mostly young infants; meningococcal infections kill approximately 100 people each year. Therefore, by administering Tdap and MCV4 vaccines, we are working to prevent approximately 120 fatalities per year. In comparison, each year in the United States, approximately 4000 women die of cervical cancer, another 1900 die of vaginal and vulvar cancer, 1000 men and women die of anal cancers, and 1700 die of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers. Taken together, timely HPV vaccination could prevent approximately 10,000 HPV-associated cancer deaths. By administering Tdap and MCV4 while delaying (or never giving) HPV vaccines, we are trading gold for brass. HPV, Tdap, and MCV4 all need to be given at 11 to 12 years of age.”

— Kenneth A. Alexander, M.D., Ph.D.

You can read the full article here, but the short story is this – please immunize your patients.

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