Peske)—January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month and the
North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is reminding the public
that everyone between the ages of 11 and 26 should receive the human
papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for the prevention of cervical, throat,
and other cancers.
According to Molly
Howell, immunization program manager with the NDDoH, someone in the
United States is diagnosed with HPV-related cancer every 20 minutes.
“We have an amazing opportunity to prevent certain types of cancer
in future generations through HPV vaccination,” said Howell.
“Thankfully, HPV vaccination rates in North Dakota are increasing.
Almost seventy percent of teens ages 13 to17 have started the HPV
The HPV vaccine is
recommended for both girls and boys at ages 11 or 12. “It is
important to be vaccinated against HPV early, before being exposed,”
said Howell. “Three out of every four new HPV cases are found in
people ages 15 to 24.”
Most insurance plans
cover HPV vaccinations, but when insurance is not available, there
are other programs that may help. North Dakota participates in the
Vaccines For Children (VFC) federal entitlement program, which
provides free vaccine for children 18 years of age and younger who
are American Indian, Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, or have insurance
that does not cover vaccinations. The North Dakota Immunization
Program also has an adult vaccination program that provides HPV
vaccines to uninsured or underinsured adults. Contact your health
care provider or local public health unit for more information about
these vaccine programs.
North Dakotans can get
more information about the HPV vaccine at
It is important to vaccinate children today to protect them from