CMA Promotes HPV Vaccination
The California Medical Association Foundation on Wednesday launched a campaign to promote awareness of cervical cancer screenings and urge immunization against human papillomavirus, the Sacramento Bee reports. HPV has been linked to cervical cancer.
CMA's not-for-profit foundation will provide online tool kits to physicians on the best methods to discuss the disease and the vaccine with patients (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 1/24).
Gardasil, the brand name of the HPV vaccine, targets four strains of HPV that cause about 70% of cervical cancer and about 90% of genital warts. Cervical cancer accounts for 3,700 deaths in the U.S. annually, according to CDC.
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Sally Lieber (D-San Jose) last month introduced a measure (AB 16) that would require all California girls entering the sixth grade to be immunized against HPV (California Healthline, 12/8/06).
The vaccine is targeted at girls ages 11 to 13, although it is approved for women ages nine to 26, according to the Bee.
Norman Constantine -- a senior scientist and clinical professor at the Berkeley School of Public Health -- in 2005 conducted a study with the Public Health Institute in Oakland that found:
- 75% of California parents surveyed likely would vaccinate their daughter before age 13;
- 80% of parents surveyed would vaccinate their daughter before age 16; and
- A small portion of the remaining 20% cited moral conflicts (Sacramento Bee, 1/24).
"There is no reason that a voluntary program" for the HPV vaccine -- rather than a mandatory program -- "would not work," Courtland Milloy writes in his Washington Post column. "Running a government-funded, voluntary immunization program ... means getting serious about providing health education and access to health care," Milloy writes. "With the government acting as partner ... parents are encouraged to make choices that are in the best interest of their children," according to Milloy (Milloy, Washington Post, 1/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.