But Rhode Island health officials have held firm, believing they can increase the HPV vaccination rate in a state that already boasts the highest rate in the nation.“Our goal is that, over time, parents will become comfortable and familiar with the benefits of this vaccine,” said Dr.Nicole Alexander-Scott, Rhode Island’s health director. She noted that the hepatitis B vaccine, given to babies, also protects against a sexually transmitted disease.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, affecting some 20 million Americans with more than 6 million new cases each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.But even with this opt-out, linking school attendance to vaccination has been shown to increase immunization rates because it encourages visits and discussions with pediatricians, said Alexander-Scott.HPV can cause cancers of the cervix, anus, head, or neck — but usually not until adulthood.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that young adolescents (ages 11 to 14) receive two doses of the HPV vaccine, six months apart. between 13 and 17 and just over a quarter of boys that age had finished the series in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the CDC.Those who begin the series later, between 15 and 26, will need three doses. And a Consumer Reports analysis of vaccination patterns among California primary-care physician groups suggests that even fewer children get the vaccine by age 13, when experts say it’s most effective.WASHINGTON – Several conservative Christian groups have spoken out against controversial legislation being considered in many states that would make a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease mandatory for girls as young as 11 years of age.