Majority of MDs To Recommend HPV Vaccine for Children
While a majority of pediatricians intends to recommend vaccination for human papillomavirus for children as young as nine years old, some are concerned over parents' roles in encouraging education on sexually transmitted diseases, according to two surveys, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to a survey conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, almost 75% of pediatricians surveyed said that if an HPV vaccine were approved, they would recommend it to patients between the ages of nine and 17.
In a survey published on Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, more than 40% of the 513 pediatrician participants said they are concerned that parents might not discuss STDs or sexuality with their children, and half of the respondents said they believe parents will be reluctant to vaccinate their children for HPV. The survey -- which asked pediatricians their opinions on two "hypothetical" vaccines -- also found that about 42% of respondents said parents might avoid vaccinating their children over fears that it might lead them to engage in risky sexual behavior, and 70% of respondents said potential risks concerning the HPV vaccines also might affect parents' decisions (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 11/30).
Merck in October announced that its experimental HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was 100% effective in preventing infection with HPV strains 16 and 18, which together cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases. Merck said it will seek FDA approval of Gardasil this year and could begin marketing the drug late next year (Maugh, Los Angeles Times, 10/7).
GlaxoSmithKline's experimental HPV vaccine, Cervarix, has been shown to be 100% effective in preventing HPV strains 16 and 18 in early clinical trials, and the company plans to submit an application for approval in Europe and elsewhere in 2006, according to GSK CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier (Chase, Wall Street Journal, 10/7).