A majority of the almost 1,200 sixth grade girls in D.C. Public Schools received the Human Papilloma virus vaccine, but public health officials would still like to see those numbers increase.
Eighty-two percent of girls entering the sixth grade in D.C. Public Schools this year have received the HPV vaccine or shown proof their parents have chosen to "opt out." The vaccine is shown to protect girls against four types of HPV, two of which commonly cause cervical cancer.
But the vaccine has been controversial. Some people question how safe it is and some say it might encourage promiscuity. Dr LaQuandra Nesbitt, with the D.C. Department of Health, says she would like to see more students get the vaccine. "From the public health perspective we do believe it will improve the health outcomes here in D.C.," said Nesbitt. "We would like all who are eligible and don't have contraindications to take advantage of it."
Nesbitt says children continue to receive their vaccinations so she expects that the numbers of those who choose the HPV vaccine number might still increase.
Kavitha Cardoza reports...