The Advisory Council on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines recommending 2 doses of HPV vaccine for teens up to age 15. HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus, which is so common about 79 million persons in the United States, are infected. It is a cancer causing virus that can be prevented. Fewer shots provide benefit to complete the series.
Teens and young adults who start the series later, at ages 15 through 26 years, will continue to need 3 doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancer-causing HPV infection. “Preventing cancer caused by HPV can be as easy as scheduling your family for an appointment at your primary clinic or at the local health department,” notes Jennifer Johnson, RN, Public Health Nurse, Lincoln County Health Department. “There is superior immune response when the vaccine is given at ages 11 or 12 rather than later (16-26 years). This makes promotion of this new schedule critical to the health of all youth,” Johnson adds. All 9-26 year olds are recommended to be vaccinated as HPV can cause cancer in both boys and girls. If it has been a long time since your child got the first or second dose of HPV vaccine, you don’t have to start over—just get the remaining shot(s) as soon as possible.
It is important to understand why waiting can be dangerous. This is one easy and confirmed way to stop cancer. Prevention of the spread of this virus is near impossible as 9 out of 10 adults are carriers of HPV. This vaccine protects against 9 strains of the HPV virus that can cause 6 deadly types of cancer.
Getting the vaccine is now an easier process. Start by calling your family health provider today to schedule. Children who have no health insurance, children with health insurance but no vaccine coverage, children on Medicaid/BadgerCare, children who are American Indians or Alaskan Natives can receive the HPV vaccine and all routine immunizations through the Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD). Cost is $10.00 and appointments are needed, so call the LCHD at 715-536-0307 and schedule your child’s appointment today.