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While HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination has increased in recent years, rates remain well below the federal government's Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent of age-eligible adolescents, according to the recent report.
"We have a safe, effective vaccine that protects against a cancer-causing virus, and we applaud the efforts of cancer and immunization leaders joining forces and rising to the challenge of accelerating HPV vaccine uptake," said Barbara Rimer, chair of the President's Cancer Panel, which produced the report.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, boys and girls aged 11 or 12 should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to 12 months apart. Those who receive their two shots less than five months apart require a third dose of HPV vaccine, the agency added.
The new report suggests a number of ways to increase HPV vaccination rates. These include: increasing parents' acceptance of the vaccination; improving access to vaccination; reducing missed opportunities at medical appointments to recommend and administer the vaccine; and promote use of the vaccine worldwide.
HPV is a very common virus, with about 14 million people in the United States -- including teens -- infected each year, according to the CDC.
Infection with HPV can cause cancers of the cervix, vagina and vulva in women; cancers of the penis in men; andcancers of the anus and back of the throat, including the tongue and tonsils, in both women and men.
-- Robert Preidt
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