The Centers for Disease Control says too few kids are getting a vaccine that prevents human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cancer. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer in women and throat and mouth cancer in men. It's best to get vaccinated before becoming sexually active.
A new government report finds only 57 percent of girls 13 to 17 are getting the shots. Only 35 percent of boys are receiving the vaccine.
According to Dr. Anne Schuchat, from the CDC says, "if we could raise HPV vaccine coverage to the same level as the pertussis vaccinations or the meningitis vaccinations, we could prevent thousands of HPV-associated cancers every year."
The CDC says HPV causes about 19,000 cancer deaths in women, with cervical cancer being the most common. It also causes about 8,000 cancers in men.
Some parents say they have safety concerns, but the CDC says no serious health risks have been linked to the vaccine.
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