Doctors recommend HPV vaccine as early as age 9 - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Doctors recommend HPV vaccine as early as age 9

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Human papilloma virus--a sexually transmitted disease--can be tough for some parents to talk about.

The idea of giving an HPV vaccine to a girl as young as 9 years old is an alarming thought for some.

"I think that should be something that a person should do after the age of 18 because then they're conscious of what they're doing and why they're doing it," one parent says.

Others feel it makes sense to offer it at a younger age.

"I don't think that's too young because if it's going to prevent cervical cancer, than I think it's a great idea," says Denise Williams. "I have a daughter and she's 16 and she's already had her HPV shot at 13. So if you have to start at 9 years old I say go for it."

Many pediatricians agree. Doctor Beth Volin, the Medical Director of Rush's Pediatric Care Center, vaccinates plenty of children every day, to prevent them from catching the virus.

"I usually talk about how exciting it is that we have a vaccine now that prevents or helps to prevent a form of cancer in women, we're talking about cervical cancer," Dr. Volin says. "In men, we're talking about a number of things, like genital warts or penile cancer or even head and neck cancers in men."

Doctor Volin feels the HPV vaccine could be given to a child younger than most children she vaccinates.

"Even though we normally offer the vaccine between 11 and 12, there certainly are exceptions," Dr. Volin explains. "The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatric said that it's perfectly fine to start as early as 9 years of age."

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