US: Dr Frieden replies to Natajah’s query about her vaccinations:
4.1.1. The recommended vaccine schedule is for five-year-olds. Parents who had pertussis before or currently have a confirmed case of pertussis would be recommended to continue taking a three-shot routine.
4.1.2. Vaccination is not a guarantee that all exposure risk has been eliminated and exposure can be reconsidered.
4.1.3. In all we vaccinate for varicella if there is a close relative who has had this illness. Viruses can remain latent in the population, and the virus is highly contagious.
4.1.4. There is a coordinated national program to identify individuals with weakened immune systems and appropriate vaccination and services.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine:
4.1.5. The recommendation for HPV vaccination is with a different starting date than for pertussis vaccination because of the similarity of the strain of vaccine in preventing HPV-related cancers.
4.1.6. Cervical cancer is almost exclusively caused by HPV.
4.1.7. At our current recommendation, our girls can receive the HPV vaccine at age 12–13. This is at age 9 years, when they become sexually active.
4.1.8. The sexual initiation is already occurring for many who choose to have sex, and the message that if they have some eggs they might not be successful in conceiving in the first year of having sex and would need to use contraceptive implants or hormonal contraceptive is not universally understood or appreciated.
4.1.9. The percentage of people who have no or limited awareness of available and approved hormonal contraceptive is significantly below that of unprotected contraception.
Dr Fauci, an infection expert, is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US government’s medical research agency for all health-related issues. He is a principal investigator for a CDC study investigating why African American youth are more susceptible to autoimmune disorders.
• More information on vaccination, risks and side effects of vaccines is available from the NIAID and the NIH, both agencies in a special page.