Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that can cause cancer. It infects about 14 million people, including teens, each year. (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/teens). The disease is spread through sexual contact and can be carried even by an infected person who has no symptoms.
HPV infections sometimes go away on their own. However, according to the American Cancer Society, HPV can have many serious consequences, including several types of cancer in both males and females.
The HPV vaccine can prevent the spread of the virus and therefore reduce the number of people suffering from these cancers. The 2019 recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care have been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (www.aap.org)
The AAP states that all kids 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to twelve months apart. Getting vaccinated on time protects preteens long before ever being exposed to the virus. Most employee insurance family coverage will pay for these shots for your adolescents. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines for children ages 18 years and younger, who are uninsured or have Medicaid or hawk-i. Call Dallas County Health at 515-993-3750 for more information on scheduling these potentially lifesaving vaccines.