The Dubois County Health Department has begun a county wide HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine initiative.
According to the health department, Dubois County vaccinations for HPV stand in the lowest 25 percent in the state.
With funding from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the goal of the initiative is to reduce the rate of cancer in our community, secondary to HPV infections, through vaccination and education. The focus of the grant is to vaccinate both boys and girls in the 11 to 12 year age range, however, the health department wants to vaccinate every boy and girl age 9 to 26 years.
Less than 20 percent of the county’s population between 9 and 26 have been vaccinated.
The HPV vaccine is more than 97 percent effective at preventing infection with the types of HPV that cause most HPV cancers when given before your child is exposed to the virus. HPV vaccination protects against the types of HPV that cause most of these cancers when given before your child is exposed to the virus, according to the health department.
The vaccine can be started as early as age 9, and should be completed by your child’s 13th birthday. The vaccine is given in two shots, with 6 to 12 months between shots, if started prior to the 15th birthday. HPV vaccination works best at ages 11 or 12, before potential HPV exposure. If the series is started after the 15th birthday, the second dose should be given 1 to 2 months after the first dose and the third dose 6 months after the first dose.
The virus is so common that it will infect most people at some point in their lives. Most infected people do not know it. The best way to prevent HPV infection is to get vaccinated. Most HPV infections go away on their own without lasting health problems. However, there is no way to know which infections will turn into cancer. That is why it is important that all children get vaccinated against HPV.
The Health Department will offer the HPV vaccination during all visits to the 9-26 year old patients. We will offer extended hours and school based clinics.
The Health Department hours are Monday through Friday 8-11:30am and 1:00 – 3:30pm. Late night clinics for HPV will be held on June 13th and July 18th from 3:30-5:30 pm for. Please call 812-481-7056 to schedule an appointment.