Vaccine skepticism, equity issues hinder fight

By Ariel Cohen, CQ-Roll Call

Cervical cancer is the only cancer that is vaccine-preventable and curable, but the United States is lagging in its efforts to meet the World Health Organization’s 2030 targets to effectively eliminate the disease.

A mix of low vaccination uptake — just 61.7% of U.S. teenage girls were up to date on their HPV vaccine doses in 2022, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey — combined with health equity issues have hobbled U.S. efforts to end the disease.

The combination can be deadly: Though cervical cancer is now preventable and treatable, roughly 11,500 new cases are reported in the U.S. each year and roughly 4,000 women die of the disease, according to CDC data.

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