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Unacceptably low numbers of teens are getting vaccinated for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which protects against cervical, throat and mouth cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends boys and girls get three doses of the vaccines starting at age 11 or 12, but a study found only 57 percent of girls and 35 percent of boys, between the ages of 13 to 17, received at least one dose. (Via Getty Images)
Health officials are blaming pediatricians for the low numbers of vaccinations, saying not enough doctors are recommending the vaccination, so people aren't getting the shots. (Via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Doctors are missing an easy opportunity to vaccinate teens at the same time they get shots for things like pertussis, which sees a much higher rate in vaccinations—86 percent. (Via Getty Images)
"If we could raise HPV vaccine coverage to the same level as the pertussis vaccinations, we could prevent thousands of HPV-associated cancers every year," says the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat. (Via CBS)
Early studies of the vaccine led some to believe it contributed to an increased chance of blood clots, but LiveScience reports that was later debunked and the vaccine was deemed safe by researchers.
In fact, NBC points out cases of HPV-related cancers decreased by more than half since the vaccine was introduced in 2006.
The CDC says seventy-nine million Americans are currently infected with HPV and 14 million people become newly infected each year.