"There is no reason why any woman should have to go through this anymore with this vaccine that's been made available," said Shaundra Hall, who survived cervical cancer.
Some California lawmakers tried, and twice failed, to mandate HPV vaccines. The concerns were that it is too new to know any of the long-term consequences. In addition, it forces parents to discuss the sexually transmitted virus to daughters when they are as young as 9 years old.
Medical professionals and public health workers met in Sacramento to discuss how to get more California girls vaccinated.
"It's a terrible disease to live through, and some people die from it. So if parents want their children to be protected against cancer, they should have their children get this vaccine," said Dean Blumberg, M.D., Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
Maya Mathur did her own study among 200 Bay Area pre-teen and high school girls. She found education might produce more participation in the vaccination effort. The high school senior got the vaccine herself, but didn't know the importance of it.
"The doctor just said I'm going to give you the HPV vaccine. Here's a fact sheet about it, and he gave it to me. My parents were involved in the decision, but I wasn't," said Mathur.
The other hurdle is cost. The vaccine is $120 per dose, given three separate times over six months, and not all health plans cover it.
There has been some concern about side effects from the HPV vaccine. At least one family claims it may be responsible for their child's death.
The Centers for Disease Control recently completed a study of all such accusations and gave the vaccine its full blessing.
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