The HPV vaccine is safe and effective, and it prevents cancer. The vaccine works, even better than we had hoped. How often can we say we have something that we know can protect the next generation against cancer? Twenty-seven thousand HPV-related cancers are diagnosed every year in the United States and HPV vaccination could prevent most of them.
However, HPV vaccination rates continue to lag behind those of the Tdap and meningococcal vaccines, which are also recommended at ages 11 or 12. When we ask parents why they aren't making sure their 11- and 12-year-olds are receiving the vaccine, many say their doctor didn't recommend it.