Local health officials concerned preteens aren’t protected against certain cancers

In Waushara County, only 33 percent of preteens and teens are being vaccinated against certain cancers.

According to 2017 data from the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR), only 33 percent of Waushara County 13-18 year olds are vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), leaving 67 percent unvaccinated. By remaining unvaccinated, they may be vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV infections.

Persistent HPV infections can cause cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, base of the tongue, and tonsils) and anus in men and women; cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women; and cancers of the penis in men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the vaccine for girls and boys at age 11 to 12 years for best protection against cancer.

 

“Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk to their child’s doctor or nurse at their next health care visit. If a preteen has not received all doses of the HPV vaccine, make an appointment to get him or her vaccinated,” said Patti Wohlfeil, Health Official.

 

Parents and caregivers can find out which vaccinations their child needs and at what age on the WIR webpage. They can also keep track of the shots their preteens have had and what vaccines they may still need through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry.