Opting Out

Gardasil has been around for 10 years and is known to prevent HPV-related cancers. But most children aren’t receiving it, according to the CDC.

Only 50% of girls and 38% of boys had all the required dosages last year—nowhere near the 80% coverage experts want. HPV is known to cause around 32,000 cancers annually.

Vaccination rates vary widely by region. 73% of girls in Rhode Island were vaccinated, compared with 31% in South Carolina. Teens in urban areas were more likely to receive the vaccine than those in rural areas.

Experts cite taboo, social conservatism, lack of services and physicians’ lukewarm advocacy of the vaccine as obstacles.

Source: MIT Technology Review

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