MEMPHIS, Tenn. — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital launched a new campaign Friday to bring awareness to the need for HPV vaccinations for children ages 9 to 12.
The campaign, called “Path to a Bright Future,” is kicking off in the southeastern U.S., where experts said HPV vaccinations are well below the national average.
Doctors said the human papillomavirus vaccine can help to prevent cancer.
From St. Jude: HPV can cause six dangerous types of cancer (including oral, cervical, vaginal, anal and penile cancers) in both women and men and results in more than 36,000 cases of cancer each year. HPV vaccination, which is effective at preventing more than 90 percent of these types of cancers, is available and recommended for every person between the ages of 9 and 26. The ideal age is 9 – 12 years old.
“St. Jude has been actively engaged over the past several years in raising awareness about HPV. With this latest campaign, we are working to increase vaccinations and ultimately reduce the rate of HPV infections. By educating the public on the dangers of HPV and associated cancers, focusing on both the community and clinical settings, and supporting relevant policies that encourage vaccination, these efforts will help prevent future cancers,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and CEO, in a news release. “In honor of International HPV Awareness Day, join us to help create a future free of HPV.”
“Together, with our campaign partners, we hope to increase awareness of the benefits of on-time HPV vaccination for cancer prevention and provide tangible resources to help peers working in community and health care settings to better meet people where they are,” said Heather Brandt, Ph.D., St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program director. “We’re committed to raising awareness of policies that support HPV vaccination efforts broadly.”