Ask the Experts: HPV Vaccine

By Christine |

On Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. ET, Kaiser Network is hosting an Ask the Experts webcast concerning implementation of the new vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV). Send questions in advance to ask@kaisernetwork.org.

The live webcast will focus on questions such as: What are the guidelines for who should get the vaccine and at what age? Who will pay for it? What is the best way to ensure access to the vaccine? Kaisernetwork.org Managing Editor Jill Braden Balderas, M.P.H., will moderate the discussion. The panel of experts includes:

- Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Renee Jenkins, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Howard University College of Medicine
- Alina Salganicoff, Ph.D., vice president and director, Women’s Health Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation

The 2007 immunization schedule for U.S. children and adolescents issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics now includes the HPV vaccine for girls between 11 and 12 years old, reports Reuters Health. Other changes to the immunization schedule are also noted.

Meanwhile, doctors are seeing high demand for the vaccine. And the Kentucky legislature is considering legislation that calls for girls in public and private middle schools to get the vaccine, according to the Courier-Journal.

“It’s time for the young women of Kentucky to take advantage of our first vaccine against cancer,” said Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, who introduced the bill. “The idea that it encourages sexual activity — that’s a bunch of hogwash.”

A national, bipartisan group of female legislators, Women in Government, is encouraging similar bills across the nation, such as in Michigan, the Courier-Journal reports. More on the Women in Government Challenge Campaign to Eliminate Cervical Cancer is available here.

Over at NPR, host Michel Martin discusses recent on-air coverage of HPV. January, by the way, is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

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