Rainbow Pediatrics
Fayetteville Office
1327 Robeson St.
Fayetteville, NC 28305
(910) 486-5437
Fayetteville Office
341 S. McPherson Church Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28303
(910) 920-4428
Hope Mills Office
4469 S. Main St.
Hope Mills, NC 28348
(910) 426-5430
Raeford Office
142 Paraclete Dr.
Raeford, NC 28376
(910) 904-0404

38 Percent of Kids Have Received the Only Vaccine that Can Prevent Cancer

If you could protect your child from getting cancer, we know you’d want to do whatever you could, right? Sadly, the majority of kids have not received the only vaccine proven to protect against several types of cancer. As pediatricians, we have to believe that a lack of education has caused parents to unknowingly prevent their child from receiving a potentially life-saving vaccine. 

The Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause a variety of health problems. HPV is the most commonly transmitted STI known to have more than 150 strains. It is so common that almost every sexually active person will get HPV at some point without vaccination. Because of its prevalence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all preteens – including boys and girls receive the vaccination at age 11 or 12. They also recommend that everyone through 26 years of age receive the vaccine if they haven’t already. 

The challenge is that most kids and teens haven’t received the vaccine. According to the CDC, in 2022, only 38.6% of children ages 9-17 received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine. 

The Vaccine that Can Prevent Cancer

HPV can cause both cervical and other cancers, including cancer of the vulva, penis, or anus. In addition, it can cause oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer in the back of the throat, base of the tongue, and tonsils.

Facts and Figures:

  • Before HPV vaccines were available, about 1 in 100 sexually active adults sought treatment for genital warts every year.
  • Almost 12,000 women will have cervical cancer, and 4,000 will die from it every year. 
  • Approximately 19,400 women and 12,100 men each year are diagnosed with other conditions and cancers caused by HPV every year.

Because almost every sexually active human will get HPV at some point, the only way to minimize the risk of getting HPV and, subsequently, cancer is to get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine helps the body build immunity to some HPV strains and protects against the above-mentioned cancers. 

What is the HPV Vaccine?

Gardasil 9 is the HPV vaccine approved by the FDA. As mentioned previously, the CDC recommends that all preteens receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12, but it can be given as early as nine years of age. The goal is to receive the vaccine before becoming sexually active. The two-dose vaccine should be given 6 to 12 months apart when the child is younger than 15. A three-dose vaccine should be given to anyone ages 15 through 26, six months apart. Please remember that the vaccine prevents HPV in both males and females and should be given to both genders.

You have the opportunity to help your child stay healthy and prevent cancer. If your child is of age to receive the HPV vaccine, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment so they can receive it. As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call and speak with one of our nurses, or schedule an appointment and talk with your child’s pediatric provider. Together, we can help prevent HPV and cancer in your most precious person.