While the Tennessee Department of Health has indicated they are no longer promoting HPV vaccination, the American Cancer Society is continuing to urge parents to have their children vaccinated to prevent six types of cancer.
The American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network believe it is critical that Tennessee parents and families continue to receive scientific-based information about the HPV vaccine that is still widely available throughout Tennessee. Tennessee has one of the lowest rates of HPV vaccinations for teens in the country, ranking 46th. To prevent several cancers in future generations, it is imperative that families have information about the importance of the vaccine and access to the vaccine itself. HPV vaccination is cancer prevention.
The American Cancer Society recommends that boys and girls get the HPV vaccine between the ages of 9 and 12. Teens and young adults through age 26 who are not already vaccinated should get the HPV vaccine as soon as possible. Teens who start the series late may need 3 shots instead of 2. While HPV cannot be treated, the vaccine can help prevent six types of cancer that could develop later in life.
The vaccine is covered by most insurance companies and is part of the federally funded Vaccines For Children (VFC) program, which allows vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
Tennessee parents and families should talk with their healthcare providers about vaccinations. More information about HPV cancer prevention can also be found at: https://www.cancer.org/HPV.