More Washington teens protected against cancer-causing virus

Saturday, October 7, 2017

More Washington teens are getting the vaccine that protects against certain types of cancer, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there was important improvement in HPV vaccine, most of the state’s teen vaccination rates are below where they should be for optimal health and protection against vaccine preventable illnesses.

The CDC 2016 National Immunization Survey shows almost two in every three Washington teens (65 percent) received at least one dose of HPV vaccine – a significant increase over 2015 (56 percent).

State health officials say healthcare providers and community partners have been working together for several years to increase the number of teens who get the HPV vaccine, which protects against certain types of cancer. However, not as many teens are getting all needed doses. Of special concern are teen boys; only 44 percent of them are up to date on HPV vaccination. Among girls, 55 percent are up to date.

State health officials are concerned that HPV vaccination rates are lower than other vaccines for teens. In 2016, 86.8 percent of teens received a Tdap vaccine and 75.1 percent received at least one dose of meningococcal vaccine.

To protect more of our children from cancer and other deadly diseases, all three vaccinations should be given at the same age.

The national goal is to have 80 percent of teens up to date on Tdap, meningococcal, and HPV vaccines by the year 2020. The department will keep working with community and healthcare partners to improve teen immunization rates.

See all Washington and U.S. teen immunization measures on the CDC’s TeenVaxView website.


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