Research shows HPV in teen girls down since vaccine’s release - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Research shows HPV in teen girls down since vaccine’s release

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New research shows the HPV vaccine could save your child’s life.

The CDC reports new research that human papillomavirus cases are down 64 percent in teen girls since the vaccine came out in 2006. The vaccine prevents the virus. That, in turn, helps prevent cervical cancer, which  millions of Americans are infected with every year.

But, data show less than half of kids are getting the vaccine. The new research has medical professionals urging parents not to skip it.

Parents, you may not want to think about your child getting cancer or even HPV, but it's something you should visit with a medical professional about before they turn 13.

"This is a cancer prevention vaccine," said Karen Brown, director of nursing at the Jackson County Health Department.

Brown says fewer than half of Illinois girls and fewer than a fourth of boys are getting vaccinated for HPV. But new research from the CDC shows since the vaccine came out a decade ago, HPV in teen girls is down by nearly two thirds.

Brown says she hopes that pushes more people to get vaccinated.

"HPV causes about 70 percent of cervical cancers, and now we have a vaccine," Brown says.

Brown says boys can get the HPV vaccine until they're 21, girls can get it until age 26. But, she says it’s important to get it done sooner rather than later. "If the vaccine is started before exposure to the virus, it's going to work better," she says.

Completing the three-part series takes just six months. But Brown says it can help prevent HPV, and through that prevent cancer, meaning it could save your child’s life.

In Illinois, 48 percent of women and 23 percent of men were vaccinated for HPV. That’s higher than the national average of 40 percent of women and 22 percent of men.

Kentucky saw 38 percent of women and 13 percent of men vaccinated for HPV, while Missouri saw 28 percent of women and 11 percent of men. In Tennessee, just 20 percent of women and 14 percent of men were vaccinated.

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