EAST MEADOW - There is a new push to have more young girls and boys receive the human papillomavirus vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention says HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection, can cause several different kinds of cancer, including cervical and throat. The vaccine isn't mandatory, but it is recommended for girls and boys as young as 11.
A federal advisory panel is expected to vote on lowering the number of shots required for the vaccine from three to two. Doctors say the vaccine's effectiveness will stay the same, but the fewer number of shots will be easier on parents.
"We're not offering an STD vaccine. This is an anti-cancer vaccine," says Dr. John Zaso. "We found in children under the age of 15, whether you do use a two- or three-dose regimen, they form better antibodies and had better protection throughout their life."
Some parents said they were willing to take the precaution, even though their children were years away from being sexually active.
"If it prevents them from getting anything when they're older then I'm all for it," says Addys Reilly, of Merrick.
Others told News 12 Long Island that they were worried about side effects from the vaccine and would not let their children receive it. The CDC maintains that the HPV vaccine is safe and poses no threat.