AAP News TODAY 2016 - Sunday, October 24, 2016 - 1
Pediatricians Challenged to Raise HPV Vaccination Rates
Beginning in 2006, safe and effective
vaccines became available to prevent cancers
associated with human papillomavirus
(HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. However, just 42%
of U.S. teen girls and 28% of teen boys have
received all three recommended doses.
"We are the only individuals, as pediatricians, who have the opportunity to protect
our patients before they become exposed to
this virus, which is an important cause of
cancer in the United States and around the
world," Joseph Bocchini Jr, MD, FAAP, said
Sunday during the plenary session "Safe and
Effective: HPV Vaccine - the Pediatrician's
Dr. Bocchini, former chair of the AAP
Committee on Infectious Diseases and
member of the Section on Infectious Diseases,
challenged pediatricians to be diligent to bring
vaccination rates up to the Healthy People
2020 goal of having more than 80% of children vaccinated by the time they are 17.
Dr. Hanna-Attisha receives the AAP Outstanding
Achievement Award from AAP President Benard
P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP, for her advocacy and
research that uncovered that Flint, Mich., water
was poisoned with lead.
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Dr. Bocchini said pediatricians have a key role in implementing new HPV vaccination recommendations.
"My challenge, which is based on information that is available on the safety and
effectiveness of the HPV vaccine, is that we
need to look in our own practices to determine what we need to do bring that level up
to 80% or better," he said.
The Academy and Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend
HPV vaccine as part of routine immunization for females and males at 11 or 12 years,
but it may be started as early as 9 years.
Last week, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that adolescents under age 15 years
get only two doses of the vaccine instead of
three doses, with the second dose administered six to 12 months after the first dose.
Those starting vaccination at age 15-26
should receive three doses. The recommenHPV Vaccination Rates, see page 4
Dr. Hanna-Attisha Used Advocacy to Preserve Kids' Future
While the children in Flint, Mich., still
do not have water they can drink, they now
have access to a full complement of health,
IN THIS ISSUE
nutrition, education and transportation
services to help support their development
and mitigate effects of lead poisoning.
At Sunday's plenary session, Mona
Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, shared
her story of advocacy, persistence and
community resilience after the city's water
supply became contaminated with lead (see
Her messages served to remind pediatricians how they can take action on similar
challenges in their own communities and
make an impact on public health policy.
A city known for its high poverty rate and
health disparities, Flint once was an economic hub and birthplace for the automotive industry, she said. But in April 2014,
the city switched its water supply from the
Great Lakes, the largest U.S. freshwater
source, to the Flint River to cut costs and
did not treat it properly. Residents noticed
the change immediately and began to voice
their concerns. Dr. Hanna-Attisha looked
at the data and found that while blood lead
levels among children were going down in
the rest of the nation, they were increasing
among children in Flint.
"The people of Flint were literally told
to relax," she said. "And General Motors
stopped using their water because it was
corroding engine parts."
Raising her voice helped bring support
that enabled the city to establish a new
Pediatric Public Health Initiative at Hurley
Children's Hospital. Dr. Hanna-Attisha
serves as director of the Michigan State
University-Hurley Children's Hospital
"A city that used to build really strong
cars is now committed to building strong
children," she said. "My voice became a
FIND AN INSPIRING MISSION AS A
U.S. ARMY PEDIATRICIAN
For more information, visit Army Medical Recruiting
Booth #2417 or go to healthcare.goarmy.com
Dr. Hanna-Attisha, see page 3
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