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HPV Vaccine Still Underused: Local DOH Official Says it Might be the Stigma


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Is the HPV vaccine underused because of stigma surrounding underage sexual activity? Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Is the HPV vaccine underused because of stigma surrounding underage sexual activity? Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

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HPV vaccination rates are some of the lowest throughout the country including in Orange County. The Florida Department of Health’s Terrolyn  Huckaby says she’s seen few negative side effects.

“Me personally, I have not seen any issues, but HPV vaccine is very safe. It’s very effective in preventing HPV as well. But vaccines are like any medication they can have side effects as well. Anything can have side effects.”

Instead, Huckaby thinks the stigma around the sexual activity that transmits the virus, might explain why only 60 percent of adolescents are vaccinated against it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say most side effects for the vaccine are mild, although some severe reactions like fainting and allergic reactions have been reported.

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Danielle Prieur

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