Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - June 2014

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If you don't vaccinate your children-read no further. I f you're a parent who feels that immunizing your chil- dren for common diseases like whooping cough and polio is the responsible thing to do, then you should also immunize for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This is the virus responsible for cervical cancer, penile cancer, some throat cancers, vulvar and vaginal cancers, venereal warts, and cervical dysplasia. Early vaccination= better response The vaccine is given in three dozes, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vacci- nating boys and girls by the age of 11 or 12. It is important to vaccinate before a child becomes sexually active. Research shows that the im- mune response is better in younger patients. So it follows that waiting to vaccinate your kids when they are older will not give them better protection. The vaccine is proven safe Parents should be reassured: the vaccine is safe. I made sure that my daughter received all three doses! The vaccine contains a protein that is made by fermenting modified yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae), the same yeast used to make wine. When injected into the muscle it triggers the body to make antibod- ies against the HPV virus. Between 2006 and 2013, 56 million doses of the HPV vaccines have been given. In the US, 14 million people are infected with HPV virus annually There are more than 150 differ- ent types of HPV. Of those 40 are transmitted through sexual contact. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in men and women in the United States. According to the CDC most sex- ually active people will be infected with HPV during their lifetime. In the U.S. fourteen million people are newly infected each year. So based on this data, you can assume your child will probably get an HPV infec- tion in his or her lifetime. This is not rare like polio. The 3 dose series allows for some flexibility And finally, this is to reassure anyone whose children started the series of shots, but didn't finish. The schedule for getting the vaccine is that the initial dose is followed by the second dose after 2 months, with the 3rd dose given 4 months after that. If this schedule is interrupted the series does not need to be restart- ed. Per the CDC, "If the series is interrupted after the first dose, the second dose should be administered as soon as possible, and the second and third doses should be separated by an interval of at least 12 weeks. If only the third dose is delayed, it should be administered as soon as possible Research shows positive re- sults against the HPV virus We are beginning to see positive results from vaccinating against HPV. Girls and young women who received the quadrivalent vaccine, which is one of the two vaccines available, were much less likely to have advanced cervical disease that can lead to cancer than their non-vaccinated peers. Research also shows that the immune response is better in younger patients (9 to 12). Again, the vaccine is safe; I gave it to my own daughter. Gynecologist Dr. Molly Cowgill sees patients in the HQMP OB/GYN New Paltz Office. "The vaccine is safe. I made sure that my daughter received all three doses!" Molly Cowgill, MD Health Quest Medical Practice

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