A BCBSA Health of America Report shows that 58 percent of adolescents with BCBSND insurance received a first dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by their 13th birthday, ranking North Dakota No. 2 in the nation.
Great news, right? Yes and no.
The good news
More North Dakota families understand the HPV vaccine protects against certain cancers in both males and females than ever before.
The bad news
- Most teens are only getting a portion of the two-or-three-part vaccination series.
- While it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, the HPV vaccine is considered voluntary.
- Families may be reluctant to talk openly about sexuality. Looking to break the ice with your teen? Read Mayo Clinic’s tips on how to address sexual activity with your teen.
Just as well-child visits are important for young children, annual physical exams for adolescents are crucial in detecting and preventing myriad teen health concerns. Talk with your preteen’s and teen’s medical team about HPV vaccine during their next well-visit or sports physical.
Still unsure about HPV vaccine?
The American Cancer Society offers some myths and facts about the HPV vaccine:
- The vaccine is safe.
- There are no side effects.
- HPV vaccine isn’t harmful and doesn’t cause fertility problems.
- It doesn’t increase sexual activity in teens.
- The vaccine is recommended for both males and females.
- It works: HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer and genital cancers in males, too.
- The vaccine is good for many, many years.
We’re No. 1 for early-child vaccinations
Read more about how we’re helping families with younger children stay healthy with CDC-recommended vaccinations.