Panelists at a medical forum held in Gainesville, Georgia on Thursday encouraged pre-teens and teenagers to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The panel, hosted by the community organization WomenSource, focused on cancer prevention.
“This vaccine is not a sex vaccine; it is a cancer vaccine,” said Dr. Andrew Green, a gynecological oncologist who specializes in cancer of the cervix, uterus and ovary. “If you [end up] at my office, you’ve missed the boat and that’s a bad thing,” he added.
Dr. Cindy Fulenwider Greene, a board-certified dentist at BGW Dental Group who has advanced training related to detection and treatment of oral cancer; and Dr. Katie Herzog, a pediatrician with The Longstreet Clinic, rounded out the group of panelists.
The HPV vaccine has faced criticism over the years, including concerns about its safety and claims that it promotes sexuality promiscuity, despite continued confirmation of its safety and numerous studies disputing any link between the HPV vaccine and promiscuity.
“It is a safe vaccine; it has been proven over and over and over,” Dr. Andrew Green said at the panel. “It is an effective vaccine. We are already starting to see pap smear rates drop in women in late 20s and early 30s. There’s even some data saying the heart attack rate may be lower in people who got the vaccine.”