(ABC4 UTAH) HPV or Human Papillomavirus is estimated to cause nearly 36,000 cases of cancer in men and women in the United States every year. HPV vaccinations can prevent more than 32,000 of these cancers from ever developing. 

“Vaccinating your child at the recommended ages can help keep them healthy well into adulthood and is the best way to prevent HPV cancers later in life,” said Dr. Tamara Sheffield, medical director for Preventive Medicine for Intermountain Healthcare.

HPV is a common virus that can cause six types of cancer. While there is no treatment for HPV, there is a vaccine that can prevent it in the first place. 

The HPV vaccine is one of the vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for kids between the age of 9 and 12 years old. The HPV vaccine is most effective if it’s administered long before exposure to HPV. More than 120 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been safely administered in the United States alone.  

“Pediatricians are more than happy to discuss these and any other immunizations or growth and development questions parents may have at their well child checkup,” said Dr. Sheffield. “The HPV vaccine, like other vaccines recommended for children, can give parents peace of mind and help keep children safe from preventable disease. For these reasons, it’s important that parents have the information they need to make good decisions for their children.”  

HPV is among vaccines made available during well child checkups with providers. Well child checkups also include important mental health screenings, developmental assessments, vision and blood pressure screenings, and other guidance critical to a child’s health and growth, Jensen said.  

Well child visits also include important immunizations required for school enrollment and are a good time to complete medical forms required for some school activities. 

Families are encouraged to contact their child’s health care provider to find out what preventive care is needed.  

For more information, visit the Intermountain Healthcare website.  

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