Booster Shots

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Because we just can't get enough HPV vaccine studies

October 21, 2009 |  4:15 pm

Wondering how much the HPV vaccine hurts? No? Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were. They studied it by quizzing parents whose daughters had received the shots.

Apparently the injections -- meant to protect against some strains of the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer -- feel about like other shots. Seriously.

Here's the news release. The study is slated to be published in the journal Vaccine.

If not curious before, you may now be wondering who funded the study. It wasn't the vaccine maker, but the Centers for Disease Control, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

The vaccine requires three injections -- and apparently there's been talk that the injections smarted excessively -- so presumably pain could be a factor in whether girls finished the regimen. The researchers found that not to be the case. (Perhaps families who'd already decided on the vaccine were not easily deterred by an injection; perhaps families who didn't want the vaccine were deterred by bigger qualms.) 

This post is not meant to suggest that more study of the vaccine's actual effectiveness and impact wouldn't be welcome ...

In other HPV vaccine news:

Posted today: CDC panel OKs use of Cervarix HPV vaccine in girls, Gardasil in boys

Posted Oct. 16: FDA approves Cervarix human papilloma vaccine as cervical cancer deterrent

Posted Aug. 19: Is HPV vaccine worth it? Researchers weigh in; you may have to decide  ... This post includes links to previous coverage of the vaccine and the concerns about it.

-- Tami Dennis