Few Northwoods Students Get HPV Vaccine
Only a small percentage of teenagers in the Northwoods have received the vaccination that could prevent them from getting a sexually-transmitted cancer.
The human papillomavirus can cause cervical, anal and oral cancers. It affects both boys and girls. A vaccine can prevent the virus from turning into cancer in teens. Only 3 in 10 girls and one in 10 boys ages 13 -17 in the Northwoods has had the full three doses of the HPV vaccine.
Charlotte Ahrens from the Oneida County Health Department is part of the Northwoods Immunization Coalition. She says there is a large amount is misinformation about the vaccine.
".....there is a lot of incorrect information that circulates about the vaccine itself. It has been studied and it does protect youth from HPV-related cancers..."
Ahrens says the subject is often difficult to discuss between teens and their parents but cancer can result from HPV infection. She says talking to a medical provider can answer many questions.
The Northwoods Immunication Coalition of Forest, Vilas and Oneida counties was one of 16 local coalitions to get a grant the the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program to promote and support local HPV vaccine efforts.