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Couric bows to criticism of negative portrayal of HPV vaccine on her show Katie

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Katie Couric has apologized for emphasizing the negative affects of the HPV vaccine, on the December 4 episode of her show “Katie,” admitting that some of the criticism that it was “ too anti-vaccine and anti-science was valid.”

“We simply spent too much time on the serious adverse events that have been reported in very rare cases following the vaccine,” she wrote in a blog post published yesterday on the Huffington Post. “More emphasis should have been given to the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccines.”
She added that as a cancer-prevention advocate, one of her goals was to affirm the importance of getting Pap tests and that people should not skip gynecological visits just because they got an HPV vaccine. Couric also expressed support for the vaccine, adding her own two daughters had been vaccinated.

“I know there is a segment of the population that has expressed intense concern over vaccines in general and that this is an emotional issue for some. But based on the science, my personal view is that the benefits of the vaccine.

According to the CDC, 57 million doses of the vaccine were administered between June 2006- March 2013. During that time they received “at least 22,000 reports of adverse events in girls and women,” although approximately 92% were deemed minor. The remaining 8% said they had experienced more serious side effects including headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, fainting and generalized weakness, as a result of the shots.

In addition the CDC stated that “efficacy studies with up to six years of follow-up data have found no evidence the vaccine’s protection wanes, a fact disputed by Couric guest Dr. Diane Harper, chair of family medicine at the University of Louisville, who stated that her personal research

Human papillomavirus is an STD that can cause genital warts as well as several types of cancer such as cervical, vaginal and cancer of the vulva, as well as cancer of the penis and anus in males. It can also cause cancer of the back of the tongue and throat in those practicing oral sex. As a result, the Federal government recommends that all girls and boys be administered either of two FDA approved vaccines. These are Gardasil, which also prevents HPV 16 and 18 as well as the genital wart-causing HPV 6 and 11 strains, and Cervarix, which prevents the cancer-causing HPV types 16 and 18.

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