We strongly recommend the HPV Vaccine for all children ages 11 years and older.
What is HPV?
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, with nearly everyone being infected at some point in their lives. In fact, it is estimated that 79 million Americans are infected with some type of HPV, and around 14 million new cases occur each year. Sexual intercourse is not required to transmit the virus from person to person.
HPV causes of Cancer, which the vaccine protects against.
HPV infections may lead to cancer and other diseases in both men and women.
Cancers associated with HPV include:
- Cervical cancer in females
- Vaginal and vulvar cancers in females
- Anal cancer in both females and males
- Throat cancer in females and males
- Penile cancer in males
It may take years, or even decades, for cancer to develop after a person is infected with HPV, so it’s important to do all you can to ensure your child is protected against the virus, long before they are exposed to the virus.
Younger children have a stronger immune response to the vaccine which is why it is important to get the vaccine at age 11 years when it is recommended.
The HPV vaccine, 2 shots given 6 to 12 months apart, is recommended for all kids ages 11 and above. If your child is 15 or older, the vaccine will most likely require three doses for completion. The most common side effect that your child may experience after receiving the vaccine is light-headedness, but generally only if they get dizzy with other shots.
How safe is the HPV vaccination?
HPV vaccines are highly effective when given before the initial exposure to the virus. Protection is long-lasting and the vaccine has been proven to offer almost 100% protection from the most common HPV types that are known to cause cancer.
Not only is the HPV vaccine effective, but it is also safe. It has been on the market for more than 10 years with no serious reactions. It is just as important as other vaccines that are highly recommended for your child.
If your teen has not received the HPV vaccine yet or you have questions regarding it, please contact your pediatrician at Elmwood Pediatric Group.