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State’s new ‘Stop HPV’ campaign urges parents to vaccinate their 11-, 12-year-olds



Kentucky’s ‘Stop HPB’ campaign launches July 20.


State officials will launch a statewide “Stop HPV” campaign July 20 to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and to stop its spread.

The campaign will feature television, radio and print advertisements promoting the benefits of the vaccine, which is recommended for 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls to prevent HPV infection. The advertisements, developed and produced by Louisville-based Doe Anderson, will be placed in media markets throughout the state.  

The campaign is funded through a $500,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our children, and the HPV vaccine does exactly that by significantly reducing a child’s risk of getting HPV-related cancer,” said Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen in a press release. “If you want to know more, particularly if you have children between the ages of 11 and 12 years old, we strongly encourage you to talk to your health care provider and make a plan to get your child vaccinated. It will protect your child and help us stop HPV.”

HPV, an extremely common virus, is considered a serious health risk. Certain strains of the virus cause cervical and other cancers and diseases. Cervical cancer kills more women in Kentucky than many other parts of the country, the press release stated.

Currently, only 27 percent of Kentucky’s adolescent females 13 to 17 years old have received the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine, and 19 percent of boys have received one dose of vaccine.

“In reality, almost everyone will get one or more types of HPV at some point in their lives and, in some, the virus will cause genital warts, cervical, vulvar, penile, oral and other cancers,” said Dr. Hatim Omar, a professor of pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. “The vaccine is safe and effective in preventing 70-90 percent of these diseases, which makes it a no-brainer to have everyone eligible immunized. Furthermore, some babies will get HPV during pregnancy, so it is crucial to vaccinate future moms to protect their babies.”

Currently, the HPV vaccine is not required when a child goes back to school. But public health and government officials emphasize the importance of making the HPV vaccine a routine part of adolescent health.

According to the CDC, the target demographic for the HPV vaccine is children who are 11 or 12 years old. It includes three injections given over the course of a year. Shots are given in the arm and, as with most injections, can produce some minor discomfort. These common side effects go away on their own and include pain, redness at injection site and soreness of the arm from the shot, mild or moderate fever and headache. Many people who get the HPV vaccine have no side effects at all.

More information about the HPV vaccine and Kentucky’s Stop HPV campaign can be found at www.Stophpv.ky.gov.

From Office of the Governor

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