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Health officials urge pre-teens to get HPV vaccine

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EUREKA- It's a vaccine geared towards pre-teens and health officials say it has the capability to prevent several types of cancer later on in life.

January marks Cervical Health Awareness Month and as part of that outreach, Humboldt's DHHS is offering HPV vaccines to anyone ages 9 to 26. The Human Papillomavirus Virus is responsible for most cervical cancers and affects more than 17,000 women and just over 9,000 men nationally per year. Since the vaccine was first introduced in 2006, HPV has been reduced by more than 50 percent.

"When vaccines come out the disease incidence tends to drop very rapidly because vaccines are very effective and very safe so we really are happy to see that this one is working very well," Said Susan Wardrip, R.N., DHHS Immunization Coordinator. "The HPV virus can cause several different kinds of cancer and genital warts and we want people to not suffer with that so we want to be sure that all 11 to 12 year olds get vaccinated for that before there's ever a risk of them coming into contact with the virus."