Cancer Society Encouraging HPV Vaccinations for Preteens
ST. CLOUD -- Now that your kids are back in school the American Cancer Society is encouraging you to get them vaccinated for the Human Papillomavirus. It is a sexually transmitted disease that causes six different types of cancers including cervical and head and neck cancer.
Matt Flory is the State Health Systems Manager for the American Cancer Society. He says if all kids got the vaccine up to 90 percent of those cancers could be eliminated.
We think we could completely eliminate cervical cancer. We have a screening for cervical cancer, pap smears are very good at catching cervical cancer earlier when they are easier to treat. So, we think in combination with 80 to 90 percent vaccinations and continued screening we could completely eliminate cervical cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends kids ages 11 and 12 get the shots, which are an initial shot and then a booster shot. If you wait until your child is 15 or older then they will need to get three shots.
Here in the tri-county area between 22 percent and 24 percent of kids get the HPV vaccine by the time they are 13 years old, which actually higher than the statewide average.