A lot of parents and some conservative groups were jarred by the idea of immunizing young girls against a sexually transmitted virus. And uptake of the vaccine has been poor — only about a third of 13- to 17-year-old girls have gotten the full three-shot series.
Now, in the wake of a CDC expert panel’s recommendation to extend vaccination to 11- and 12-year-old boys, there’s reason to think things might be different this time.
“There’s been a surprisingly muted reaction,” says Dr. Don Dizon, a Brown University oncologist. “We tend to believe that girls are chaste and are going to ‘save themselves for marriage.’ But, you know, sexual activity is something that’s almost expected of boys."
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