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July 27, 2016 - Call for Action: Protecting Alabama Children from HPV-related Cancers
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As a joint call for action from the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, VIVA Health, the American Cancer Society, Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians we urge parents to vaccinate their children against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 27,000 men and women are diagnosed with HPV-related cancers every year in the United States. These cancers could be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine.

The CDC recommends boys and girls receive three doses of HPV vaccine beginning at ages 11 or 12. The HPV vaccine series can be started as early as 9 years of age and should be completed before the age of 13. The HPV vaccine is more effective the earlier it is given, but is still recommended to young men up to the age of 21 and young women up to the age of 26.

According to a 2015 CDC report, only 40 percent of girls and 21 percent of boys in the U.S. received the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine. Alabama ranks among the 10 states with lowest HPV vaccination rates in the nation.

These low HPV vaccination rates are alarming. Therefore, we collectively encourage parents and guardians to have their sons and daughters complete the three-dose HPV vaccine series as recommended by the CDC.

We urge health care providers to recommend HPV vaccination to all of their eligible patients and discuss its benefits with their patients and colleagues.

HPV-related cancers are the only cancers that can be prevented through vaccination. Together, we can make a major public health impact by eliminating these cancers for future generations. The HPV vaccination is cancer prevention.

More information via CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/HPV/

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