Make sure your preteens and teens get recommended vaccinations


CONTACT: Jasmine Abner
(334) 206-7066
[email protected]

Parents, a new school year is beginning. The Alabama Department of Public Health reminds you it is time for parents to make sure that their children have everything they need to protect them as they return to school. In addition to pencils, paper and other classroom essentials, vaccination should be included on every checklist.

Children are susceptible to certain vaccine-preventable diseases as they move into adolescence, making it all the more important to keep their immunizations current and up to date. There are four recommended vaccinations for preteens and teens: Tdap, HPV, meningococcal and influenza.

By nature, parents want to protect and shield their children from any hurt, harm or danger as much as humanly possible; the HPV vaccine is one sure way to protect them from preventable cancers. The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) protects against over half a dozen types of cancers including cervical, penile and oropharyngeal. Two doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for most persons starting the series before their 15th birthday.

“There is no question that the vaccine works,” said primary author Dr. Warner Huh, professor and director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Gynecologic Oncology and a senior scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. When given at the recommended age and dose, the HPV vaccine is highly effective.

Dependents aged 9 through 26 may be covered by their parents’ health insurance. Parents should check with their insurance provider to see if the HPV vaccine is covered by their program. If it is not, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program is available to help families of eligible children get recommended vaccines. Contact the VFC toll-free line at 1-866-674-4807 for more information.

Remember, saying yes to HPV vaccination is saying no to cancer!

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