About 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV. Each year, about 14 million people become newly infected with HPV. Infections of HPV can dramatically raise the rate of cervical cancer in women and other, less common, but serious cancers, including genital cancers (cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus), and a type of head and neck cancer called oropharyngeal cancer (cancer in the back of throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) in both men and women.
HPV vaccines are recommended for 11- or 12-year-old boys and girls. HPV vaccines are safe and effective, and can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV that can lead to disease and cancer. HPV vaccines are given in three shots over six months; it is important to get all three doses to get the best protection. Boys and girls at ages 11 or 12 are most likely to have the best protection provided by HPV vaccines, and their immune response to vaccine is better than older women and men.
Previous Work by NACCHO
Recognizing the critical role of LHDs in the successful uptake of HPV vaccines, NACCHO called a meeting to discuss adolescent health and immunization in March 2006. Representatives from vaccine manufacturers, academia, provider groups, professional organizations, and public health agencies discussed ways to promote consistent messages to increase the proportion of adolescents receiving the HPV vaccine.
A follow-up meeting took place in September, where participants identified barriers to reaching targeted populations and shared information, updates, and identified strategies that partners might implement to address the noted barriers.