Eric, an incoming high school freshman, is at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg to get a HPV vaccine. The vaccine, commonly known to stop cervical cancer in young women, also helps prevent cancer in young men.
Eric is just one in a group that health experts are targeting with an HPV action and awareness coalition. USF is announcing on Tuesday the work being done to combat Florida’s low HPV vaccination ranking.
Catherine Alesandrini says the vaccine is a good idea. “I think that if there’s any preventative measure that we can do I think we should do it."
The CDC says all kids who are 11 or 12 years old should get the three dose series of the HPV vaccine. Teen boys and girls who did not get the vaccine when they were younger should get it now and can be vaccinated up to age 26 for women and 21 for men. Catherine wants the vaccine but, she says, “I have Catholic insurance, and they refuse to cover it.”
Carlen Garmon says she won’t give she won’t give her son Hudson the vaccine. “I really believe the body is able to take care of itself, in most cases, so my son hasn't had a vaccine at all.”
While Carlen is not alone in her concern over vaccines, health experts just want to educate parents on the benefits. - They warn that Florida has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the country and that HPV can cause a range of cancers.
Tuesday's news conference will be held at CAMLS in downtown Tampa. In the meantime, if you want some information on HPV and the vaccine now, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/default.htm