Why Aren’t More Parents Vaccinating Their Kids Against Cancer?

If there were a vaccine that could protect your 11-year-old son from getting cancer as an adult, buy you’d make sure he got it, right?

As it turns out, this immunization exists, but a majority of young boys are not adequately protected, as journalist Jane Brody noted in The New York Times on Tuesday.

The human papillomavirus vaccine ? which protects against HPV-associated cancers including throat and tongue, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and penile cancers ? is strongly recommended as cancer prevention for 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The bad news: In 2015, just 28 percent of boys ages 13-17 had undergone the recommended three-dose HPV vaccine course for maximum cancer protection, and only 50 percent of boys had received at least one dose. In comparison, 81 percent of boys and girls ages 13 to 17 received a meningococcal conjugate vaccination and 86 percent received a Tdap vaccination ? two other common vaccines recommended for that age group.

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