Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
About 13 million Americans, both men and women and including teens, become infected with HPV each year. Almost every unvaccinated person who is sexually active will get HPV at some time in their life. Most HPV infections will go away on their own. But infections that don’t go away can cause certain types of cancer. An HPV vaccination can prevent most HPV related cervical cancers, throat or tonsil cancers or vaginal, anal, or penile cancers from ever developing.
Ensuring your patient gets both doses of the HPV vaccine by age 10 can protect and save lives.
Vaccine Recommendations for Children Have Changed
Starting the HPV vaccination series at age 9 is now recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Administration after the age of 12 is considered late and catch-up.
Why age 9? Because early protection against HPV is the most effective protection. Vaccination at an earlier age protects your patient long before they ever have contact with the virus.
The previous recommendations for HPV vaccinations for children were around ages 11 or 12 years old. This has caused some confusion with parents, so be sure to explain the many benefits of vaccinating at age 9.
HPV Vaccinations Can Help Protect Against These Cancers
For both men and women, an HPV vaccine is very effective at protecting against genital warts and cancers of the:
- Cervix, vagina and vulva in women
- Penis in men
- Anus in both men and women
- Back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (oropharynx), in both men and women
Routine Recommendation of HPV Vaccination at Age 9
Every member of a practice plays a critical role in understanding and advocating for HPV vaccination as cancer prevention and should work together to reduce missed opportunities for vaccination. National survey results from CDC indicates that clinicians underestimate the value parents place on HPV vaccination, but a recommendation from their health care team is the number one reason parents decide to vaccinate. As a health care team, move toward the standardized practice of routinely recommending HPV vaccination at age 9.
WE NEED YOUR HELP. take the pledge.
become an hpv vaccine champion and help prevent
cancer by INITIATing the HPV vaccine SERIES AT AGE 9.
I pledge to provide all patients with a strong presumptive recommendation for HPV vaccination as early as possible, starting at age 9, in my routine patient care and education.
I will take the necessary time to have a conversation with parents and share any resources, answer any questions, and address any concerns.
I will encourage and educate my staff and partners to routinely recommend the HPV vaccination as early as possible, starting at age 9.
I commit to do my part to impact adolescent health care and HPV vaccination.
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