Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines
The Illinois State Medical Society encourages parents to follow the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the (CDC) guidelines to vaccinate children (girls and boys) with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The shot inoculates against HPV and helps to prevent several types of cancers. The vaccine is given in 3 doses and is recommended to be given to children as part of their normal vaccination schedules between the ages of 11 and 12.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently updated its guidelines to recommend that physicians and other health care professionals routinely offer the HPV vaccine series to boys and girls starting between the ages of 9 and 12. ACS also does not recommend vaccination after age 26.
According to the CDC, HPV exposure can occur with any type of intimate sexual contact. About 14 million people, including teenagers, become infected with HPV each year. Of those infected, over 17,000 women and 9,000 men are affected by cancers caused by HPV.
Long term studies have shown efficacy of the vaccine in the body for ten years or more with greater success when the vaccine is given at a younger age. This, however doesn’t mean that teens and young adults shouldn’t get the vaccine if they did not receive it at the recommended age.
Discussing HPV vaccination can sometimes be challenging. Review these tips for help answering common questions parents have about HPV and the vaccine. General information about HPV can also be found here.
Download these posters to hang in your office, post to your practice website or share via social media.