(KUTV) January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. William Cosgrove, a pediatrician and Immediate Past-President of the Utah Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, stopped by KUTV to let Utah parents know that the HPV vaccine can protect against 6 types of cancer.
WHAT IS THE HPV AND WHAT IS THE HPV VACCINE?
? HPV is the abbreviation for human papillomavirus. There are about 100 types of HPV viruses and some of these types cause cancer.
? The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention for your child. It is the only vaccine available to prevent six types of gender-specific cancer.
? The vaccine is given as a shot, in two doses, six months apart at your doctor’s office.
? HPV is spread through unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner. About 14 million people nationwide become infected with HPV each year.
WHO SHOULD GET THE VACCINE?
? The vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control or CDC and the Utah Department of Health’s Cancer Control Program
? Why preteens? The vaccine is recommended for preteens—specifically between the ages of 11 and 12 so that they are protected before ever being exposed to HPV. In addition, an adolescent’s immune system is more responsive in the preteen years.
? If your children are older than 11 or 12 they should still be vaccinated.
? You can get the vaccine up to age 26.
? Both boys and girls should be vaccinated to protect them from gender-specific cancers.
IS THE HPV VACCINE SAFE?
? Yes. The FDA and the CDC have given the HPV vaccine an excellent safety record. Many studies have been conducted over the past 10 years and there is no evidence that the HPV vaccine causes reproductive problems.
? Nearly 90 million doses of HPV vaccines have been given between June 2006 and March 2016.
? The FDA has continually monitored the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine since it was approved in 2006.
(Source for all stats: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAQ about HPV Vaccine Safety)