The cure for cancer that parents won’t use

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Media Outlet: Washington Post

Not so long ago, when my sons still had smooth cheeks and children’s voices, I had them vaccinated against human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease. It was late 2011, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had just recommended that boys join girls in being vaccinated at age 11 or 12. I was certainly receptive: HPV, as it’s commonly called, causes cervical cancer, cancer of the tonsils, cancer of the back of the tongue and, less often, cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus and penis. It seemed important to ensure that my kids were protected.

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Meredith Wadman is the author of The Vaccine Race, about a unique group of cells that are widely used in scientific research and for making vaccines that have immunized hundreds of millions of people. She was a New America fellow in 2015.