Indiana doctors recommending HPV vaccine for teens
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY —
In Indiana, there were more than 400 cervical cancer related deaths in four years.
This is prompting doctors and lawmakers across the state to encourage families to consider the Human Papillomavirus vaccine which prevents the disease.
Right now, many Hoosier teens don't have the vaccine. Less than 50-percent of adolescent teens have gotten the HPV shot, according to new numbers from the Center for Disease Control and prevention.
Doctors say the recommended age to get the vaccine is anywhere between 11 and 12-years-old.
Some parents aren't comfortable with that.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus and doctors say some parents think the vaccine gives their teen permission to become sexually active.
Another misconception is the vaccine causes cancer. Doctors debunked this myth right away.
In fact, the vaccine prevents several types of cancer like cervical and oral cancer.
The only side effects from the shots are a sore arm.
"I strongly encourage it they have gotten almost half lower cervical cancer rates since we started this vaccine so it's just amazing,” said Dr. Lynnette Valentijn at the South Bend Clinic.
Young boys can get the shot too. They are just as susceptible to oral and anal cancer.
It's a two vaccine series that you can get anywhere from age 9 to 26. If you're interested, contact your primary care provider.