HPV Vaccine – Important or Not?

HPV Vaccine, is it mandatory and Why?

(Human Papillomavirus Vaccine) HPV vaccine is important as it protects against cancers that is caused by HPV infection. HPV is a common virus; that almost one in four in the United States is affected. HPV infection in women may cause vulvar, vaginal and cervical cancers, in men penile cancer and both women and men can suffer with cancer of the throat, anal cancer and genital warts.

It is recommended to get HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 for boys and girls so that they are not exposed to virus. HPV vaccine in the preteen years produces robust immune response. Older teens get health check-ups very rarely and if you know you never had the vaccine shot, consult your nurse or doctor and get it administered.

The normal course of HPV vaccine is in 3 shots. The routine practice is that the second shot is given after the first shot in 1 or 2 months. After 6 months, the third shot is given exactly after the first shot. It is recommended to receive the HPV vaccine full series. Young men and women can get vaccinated through ages 21 and 26.

HPV in the United States is the most sexual commonly transmitted infection and most sexually active person also becomes infected in life at some time. The virus causes more than 90 percent cervical cancers and cancers of the penis, vulva, anus, vagina and oropharynx, including the tongue and tonsils base and the back of the throat. It also causes genital warts.

The HPV immunization is at a low rate among young teens as it is expensive and relatively new.  The society updated its guideline immunization recently and it is observed that the effectiveness is low with the age and so it highlights the early vaccination importance. Another obstacle is the belief that it promotes teenage promiscuity.

There was publicity initially on preventing sexually transmitted disease, but doctors affirm it is a vaccine to prevent cancer.  Multiple studies reveal absolutely no negative impact on sexual activity when the HPV vaccine is given to girls.

Parental support for having vaccinated against HPV for 11 and 12 year old children is weak. Several states propose vaccination as mandatory for school entry, and many parents of children ages also “opt out” this provision.

Vaccines

It is kind of ironic that the last post talked about malaria. This post will talk about the vaccines for malaria and ebola. The new ebola vaccine is apparently quite effective which is a relief with such a scary disease. The malaria vaccine is effective but not as much as had been hoped for.

Malaria vaccine

Interestingly, this vaccine won’t be given to travelers. It was designed for children of affected regions. This would be Africa, Pakistan and India, the primary places where 80-100% of the people are at risk of contracting malaria. Almost 600,000 people die a year from malaria, mostly kids under 5 from sub Saharan Africa.

Efficacy

The problem is that four shots are needed. Without the final booster shot administered 20 months after the first three shots, you might just as well not bother. There is no significant difference. With the booster shot, severe malaria cases decreased by about a third. Not ideal, but far better than nothing.

Timing

The other problem is the timing. It was found that it was more effective done a bit later and not at the same time that the children got their other vaccine shots. This will create a logistical nightmare for giving the shots. It also means that the youngest children who are very susceptible will not be protected.

Economic Impact

Anthropologists have found that in areas with high malaria, the population was more spread out, there were fewer beasts of burden and the people were never able to organize into a more advanced civilization. Rather amazing that one parasite can have such an effect. Modern technology is helping some and even something as simple as bed netting can be as effective or more so than the vaccine. Will the two of them combined help to bring sub Saharan Africa into the 21st century?

The malaria vaccine has been worked on for 30 years and is the first human vaccine against a parasite. The Ebola vaccine was essentially developed 10 years ago and then just sat.

Ebola Vaccine

The problem is that vaccines are just as expensive to take through the regulatory process but little or no money is made on them. The only reason that the Ebola vaccine that was developed 10 years ago is getting out now is because of the recent Ebola outbreak. If the vaccine had come out when it was developed, it would have saved the lives of thousands of people in this recent outbreak. Recent tests have shown it to be extremely effective.

A proposal has been made to create an international fund to support vaccine research and to pay for the regulatory approval process. Countries and drug companies would contribute. The amount of money sought is around $2 billion dollars which may seem like a lot, but considering the cost of clinical trials isn’t that much. Also when you consider that fighting the recent Ebola outbreak cost over $10 billion, it would be an investment that was well worth it.

Preventing Nosocomial Infections

Nosocomial Infections – So what is that? Infections picked up in the hospital. Proper cleaning can reduce it, such as wound cleaning, hand cleaning, facilities cleaning such as carpet cleaning, floor cleaning, and any other surface you can think of. It is not a trivial matter. Five to ten percent of all patients get a hospital acquired infection and about 100,000 people die of the complications each year. Continue reading Preventing Nosocomial Infections

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