The number of Louisiana teens ages 13-17 up to date on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is on the rise, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published August 24, 2018, shows Louisiana with a rate of 52.9 percent, an increase of 11.1 percent over the 2016 rate of 41.8 percent. Louisiana’s rate is higher than the national average of 48.6 percent.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, said the Office of Public Health is focused on improving the state’s HPV vaccination rates over the past two years.

“Activities geared toward improving vaccination rates have included working closely with partner organizations such as the Louisiana chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society to encourage their members to spread the word about the importance of the vaccine,” Gee said.

HPV Vaccine Recommended

The Office of Public Health continues to make a strong recommendation for the HPV vaccine for teens.

Every year about 14 million people, including teens, contract HPV, a group of more than 150 related viruses that cause nearly all cervical cancers and many cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum and oropharynx. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact.

Preteens ages 11-12 are encouraged to receive the vaccine so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus. The vaccine is administered in a series of shots over several months. It is safe, effective and recommended by the CDC.

Learn more about HPV and the vaccine
here and here.