National Immunization Month an opportunity to talk about HPV vaccination

Did you know that the nation’s leading pediatricians’ group recommends the three-dose human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for all young adults—not just young women?

August is National Immunization Month, and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) is reminding parents and young adults of the importance of the HPV vaccine to prevent dangerous types of HPV infection, which can lead to genital warts, cervical, oral or anal cancer later in life.

The vaccine works best when administered before a person becomes sexually active, so the recommended age of vaccination is 11 to 12 for boys and girls. PPINK provides the HPV vaccine Gardasil at most health centers across Indiana and Kentucky. PPINK accepts Medicaid and certain private insurance, including some marketplace exchange plans. If you are uninsured or cannot afford the full cost of preventive services such as the HPV vaccine, PPINK may help find resources to cover the cost of your care.

Data released on July 24 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that the rate of young adults receiving the HPV vaccine is increasing—in 2013, approximately 57.3% of girls 13-17 years old received at least one dose of the vaccine, up from 53.8% in 2012. According to the CDC, despite this increase the overall vaccination rates for women and men remain low.

NPR reported that a CDC panel of doctors said one of the most common reasons for parents not vaccinating their children against HPV is simply that they’re unaware of the vaccine. The HPV vaccine is a three-dose vaccine recommended for girls and women ages 11 to 26, and boys and men ages 11 to 21. Our health center staff can provide more information about the HPV vaccine if you or your child is not vaccinated and in the recommended age range.

Call 800-230-PLAN to reach a health center near you for more information or an appointment, or browse the Health Centers & Services tab to find hours and info about our health centers.

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