HPV vaccine is lowering infection rates and preventing cancer

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Centers for Disease Control said the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection rate has decreased by 56% in teen girls since the push for teens to get vaccinated in 2006.

According to the CDC, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection – more than 79 million Americans have the it. Most of those infected don’t show any signs of having HPV.

If a patient gets the vaccine between the ages of 11 years-old and 26 years-old you can prevent 9 of the strains that cause many forms of cancer and warts.

“The HPV vaccine is important for boys as well as for girls because boys can also get cancer from the HPV virus,” said Pediatric Doctor Jennifer Shu. “There are more than 100 different strains of the virus, but four of the strains are responsible for 70% of cervical cancer and 90% of genital warts worldwide. A newer vaccine can prevent five additional cancer-causing types of HPV.”

The CDC said men are less likely to get HPV cancers, but are likely to spread it.

The vaccine is considered safe and  includes three shots that will be taken over a six month period. If your insurance doesn’t cover the three shots, the series could cost up to $500.

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