Andy Murray wants tennis players to be vaccinated against HPV

Written by Staff Writer

Andy Murray says that tennis players will soon be given vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.

“Players will probably, in the next year or two, all get the vaccination,” the British tennis player and five-time Grand Slam champion said in an interview on Wednesday with the “Today” show.

The viral disease causes millions of cases of cervical cancer worldwide and is responsible for nearly 4,000 deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the agency notes, regular vaccination can reduce the chances of contracting cervical cancer by nearly 70%.

Murray added that he’s been taking care of his health since he was a child and plans to continue the habit when he’s a parent.

“It’s about taking care of yourself and making sure that you are good for yourself and your kids when you are a parent,” he said.

“I would definitely encourage my daughter to take care of herself but in terms of me putting pressure on her to do it, it’s not up to me.”

As the world’s top-ranked men’s singles player, Murray is a partner with British scientists at the Cancer Research UK partnership in the U.K. to study the effectiveness of the vaccine. They recently completed a pilot trial which saw 35 young women being vaccinated.

U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill in August 2016 to fund the HPV vaccine for 12-year-old girls, which would be included in school immunization programs.

However, legislative efforts have run into hurdles. On September 12, the Education and Labor Committee voted against endorsing the measure on the grounds that it was unnecessary and could even be harmful to young girls.

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