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Get back on track — immunize your kids for HPV

You may know the human papilloma virus vaccine for its prevention of cervical cancer. Now it’s approved for use against head, neck and throat cancer. More than 35,000 HPV-related cancers are found each year — 13,500 are cancers of the throat.

The Cancer Prevention in Action Program (CPiA) works to increase HPV vaccination rates in children to prevent cancer in adulthood. Head, neck and throat cancers are more common among men and among people over the age of 50.

The HPV vaccine is given to boys and girls beginning at age 9 through age 26. Unfortunately, about half of adolescents in New York state don’t get the vaccine when they should. Due to COVID-19, many parents have had to delay regular health care visits when vaccines are given.

If you’ve had to delay, now is the time to get them completed. You may wonder if it’s safe to have a health care visit, but medical offices are taking extra steps to make your visit safe by: Asking patients about COVID-19 symptoms before an appointment, using online check-in, having staff and patients wear masks, having sick and well visits during different times, adding more time between appointments, cleaning/disinfecting waiting rooms, spacing waiting room chairs for social distancing, asking patients to wait outside until exam room is ready, cleaning exam rooms/equipment after each patient.

CPiA is helping New York get back on track with HPV vaccination. To learn more, visit www.takeactionagainstcancer.com or call (518) 770-6815.

KELSEY CARPE

Amsterdam

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