Local officials push for HPV Vaccinations

Public Health Nurse: Awesome thing is HPV Vaccine prevents cancer

Health officials throughout the coulee region are pushing for more teens to get vaccinated against a virus that causes cancer.

Only about 18-percent of people in Western Wisconsin have been vaccinated for the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. The sexually transmitted disease is known to cause cervical and oral cancers.

More than 20,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with an HPV related cancer this year.

A public health nurse hopes a new campaign promoting the vaccine will increase the rate of people who get protected.

“The really awesome thing about the HPV Vaccine is that it prevents cancer. So we don’t have a lot of tools to actually prevent cancer, so it’s wonderful that we have a vaccine that can do that,” said La Crosse County Public Health Nurse Christine Gillespie.

Gillespie recommends the vaccine be started between the ages of 11 and 12, though it’s good for anyone up to age 26.