Letters to the Editor

HPV vaccine saves lives

The Centers for Disease Control recommends HPV vaccinations for youth ages 11 to 12 so that they become protected before potential exposure to the virus through sexual contact. While vaccination rates have been increasing, they still lag for both boys and girls.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends HPV vaccinations for youth ages 11 to 12 so that they become protected before potential exposure to the virus through sexual contact. While vaccination rates have been increasing, they still lag for both boys and girls. AP file photo

In response to the Dec. 15 article: “Hepatitis A vaccine required for school next fall. Kids might need first dose by February,” I commend the Fayette County Schools for highlighting the new immunization requirements.

The state now requires Hepatitis A vaccinations for each student and an additional meningococcal booster for every 16 year old.

All pediatric and family primary-care providers should make certain that pediatric and young adult patients are current on their human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination.

Kentucky ranks among the highest in the country for several HPV-related cancers, including cervical and pharyngeal throat cancer. It is well established that early vaccination (age 11 to 12) substantially enhances immunity from such cancers.

Parents and students making appointments for these vaccines should strongly consider requesting the two-dose HPV cancer prevention vaccine as well.

The HPV vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

It is covered by most insurance plans and is subsidized by the Vaccines for Children Program, which covers Medicaid and uninsured children up to age 18.

Broader adoption of the HPV vaccination will save lives.

Dr. Emily Messerli

Clinical Faculty, Public Health Nursing

University of Kentucky

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