Increasing human papilloma virus vaccination rates to 80% of girls could eliminate 53,000 future cases of cervical cancer over the course of their lifetimes, but the latest Centers for Disease Control data—from 2012—show that the US vaccination rate hovers at the 33% mark. The vaccination rate depends on girls receiving all three doses of the HPV vaccine.

To change this, the President’s Cancer Panel has outlined efforts that could help raise awareness and immunity levels in a report released Monday titled Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer.

Among the recommendations:

  • Develop a communications plan that tells parents and caregivers that delaying vaccination is not an option.
  • Put vaccination opportunities where adolescents are, such as drugstores, as opposed to limited sites, such as physician offices.
  • Deploy a vaccination communication strategy that encourages HCPs to recommend the vaccine.

HPV is known to cause oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer that affects the soft palate, tongue and tonsils. It also causes just about every form of cervical cancer and vaccination is recommended for both girls and boys.

The NIH says human papilloma infections are the most common sexually transmitted infections.

Studies have shown that parents fear vaccinating their children will encourage sexual activity. Studies in several countries have consistently shown this is not the case.