Check Your Health: The HPV Vaccine

Check Your Health: The HPV Vaccine (File photo: MGN)

(KUTV) — Today, Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, of the Cancer Prevention Researcher, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and Director and Intermountain West HPV Vaccination Coalition stopped by 2News to help explain what the HPV vaccine.

First, here are the key facts:

  • Most people will be infected with the HPV virus at some point in their lives.
  • The HPV vaccine is cancer protection. It is the 1st vaccine developed to prevent a major type of cancer.
  • The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12.

And here's what you need to know about HPV:

  • Most people will never know they are infected because there are no symptoms.
  • Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-associated cancer among women.
  • 99.7% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV infection.

And for the HPV Vaccine Fast Facts:

  • The HPV vaccine protects against most cancers caused by HPV infections.
  • Side effects of the HPV vaccine are similar to other vaccines:
  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness and fever
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) & The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends the HPV vaccine for boys and girls at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus.
  • Why vaccinate Boys?
  • To protect against genital warts as well as cancers of the head and neck.
  • To reduce transmission of the virus to future partners.
  • The HPV vaccine is NOW given in a 2-dose series. The 2nd dose is given 6 months after the first dose.
  • Most insurance plans cover the HPV vaccine for children.