/picture alliance, Andrea Warnecke
Heidelberg – Too few girls and boys in Germany are protected against cancer-causing human papilloma viruses (HPV). Only 43 percent of 15-year-old girls are fully vaccinated against HPV, according to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the German Cancer Aid reported today.
This means that Germany is still a long way from comprehensive protection against human papilloma viruses, which only exists at a vaccination rate of at least 70 percent. On the occasion of World HPV Day, the DKFZ and Krebshilfe therefore appealed to all parents to use this opportunity to prevent cancer for their children.
“All of Germany is currently hoping that we will achieve protective herd immunity as quickly as possible through rapid corona vaccinations,” said Michael Baumann, CEO of the DKFZ. “But with the HPV vaccination we have had this great opportunity for years and are not taking advantage of it.”
Human papilloma viruses (HPV) are widespread and infect both women and men. They are often transmitted during the first sexual contact. Twelve of the more than 200 HPV types known to date are currently classified as carcinogenic.
In Germany alone, an estimated 7,700 people are diagnosed with HPV-related cancer every year – especially cervical cancer. The viruses also cause cancer in the mouth and throat, in the anus and in the male genital area.
HPV vaccination is recommended for boys and girls aged nine to 14 years. Missed vaccinations can be made up up to the age of 17 years. © afp / aerzteblatt.de