Dalton (GA) – If there were a vaccine against cancer, it is likely that most parents would get it for their children.
HPV vaccine is protection against most of the cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a very common virus that spreads between people when they have sexual contact with another person. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year. HPV infection can cause cervical cancer in women and penile cancer in men. HPV can also cause anal cancer, throat cancer and genital warts in both men and women.
Marie Smith, Immunization and Child Health Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District, said, “The HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus. If your teen has not yet gotten the vaccine, talk to their doctor or contact your county public health department about getting it for them as soon as possible.”
The HPV vaccine is given in 3 shots. The second shot is given 1 or 2 months after the first shot. Then a third shot is given 6 months after the first shot. It is important that children get all 3 shots for full protection.
For more information about HPV and HPV vaccine, contact your local county health department (find the phone numbers for county health departments in the North Georgia Health District by clicking on the Locations tab above) or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-Vac/hpv/.