• Cancer

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Protect your child with HPV vaccine

As kids prepare to head back to the classroom, parents are reminded to ensure their children are properly vaccinated beforehand. HPV vaccination is recommended for boys and girls at ages 11 or 12. Dr. Gerardo Colon-Otero, a Mayo Clinic oncologist, says the vaccine is most effective when given to young people before they are sexually active.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:58) is in the downloads. Read the script.

Nearly 80 million people in the U.S. have the HPV sexually transmitted infection.

“Most of the time when you get infected with this virus, there are no symptoms, and most of the time, there are no consequences," says  Dr.  Colon-Otero. But some strains of HPV can cause cancers, including cervical, penile, throat and anal.

“These cancers can be prevented if our kids are vaccinated against this virus.”

All kids who are 11 or 12 years old should get two doses of the vaccine at least six months apart when they are due for other vaccinations

Dr. Summer Allen, a Mayo Clinic family physician, strongly recommends all kids get this vaccine.

"This vaccine is meant to prevent cancer," says Dr. Allen. To help keep all of our kids healthy and protected against cancer.

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