Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Florida lagging on HPV vaccinations

When a vaccine for preventing the human papillomavirus debuted less than a decade ago, the thought of vaccinating children for a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cancer caused an uproar. But science has continued to win in this debate, and now a local education campaign of health professionals and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor aims to spread the word. Vaccinating both girls and boys, ideally when entering seventh grade, gives them the best long-term chance of warding off cervical, oral and other types of reproductive cancers.

The vaccine, which is administered in three doses over a six-month period, helps the body build immunity to HPV, which can lead to cancer. HPV is so common, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly all sexually active men and women will be exposed to it in their lives. Introducing the vaccine at a young age gives the body the best chance to build immunity.

The CDC recommends the vaccine for those 11 to 26 years old, but it is most effective at ages 11 to 12. The vaccine was marketed to females, but now health professionals and the CDC recommend males receive it too.

Florida's track record so far, however, is the worst in the nation when it comes to giving its youth extra insurance against contracting cancer. Florida's estimated rate of female adolescents aged 13 to 17 who receive all three doses of the HPV vaccination is only 25.3 percent, compared to the national average rate of 33.4 percent.

The vaccine is expensive, upwards of $500 — but that's a pittance compared to the cost of treating cancer. And many insurance companies cover the preventive care. For the uninsured, HPV is included in the federal Vaccines for Children program, which covers the cost and can be accessed through local county health departments.

Doctors are becoming more informed and encouraging vaccinations, but this is also an opportunity for parents to teach their children that it's never too early for preventive health practices. This summer is the perfect time to start.

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Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.íí A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he wonít raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trumpís claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Gov. Rick Scott always has been grudging and imperious about restoring the voting rights of felons, requiring them to wait for years before begging the governor and Cabinet to be recognized again as citizens. That arrogance is on full display in a le...
Published: 02/13/18
Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Immigrants brought into this country illegally as children by their parents may be wondering whom to trust. The political theater being played out in Washington hasnít settled the status of either the "Dreamers" or the estimated 11 million other undo...
Published: 02/13/18