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Teen HPV Vaccination Reaches All-Time High, City Says

By Alex Nitkin | August 2, 2015 3:34pm
 Record numbers of Chicago teens have been vaccinated for HPV, Mayor Emanuel announced.
Record numbers of Chicago teens have been vaccinated for HPV, Mayor Emanuel announced.
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Shutterstock/Sherry Yates Young

CITY HALL — More teenagers in Chicago were vaccinated against human papillomavirus last year than ever before, according to a news release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office Friday.

As of 2014, the release said, more than 78 percent of the city's girls and almost 65 percent of its boys have received at least the first dose of a three-round HPV vaccination. Both those numbers exceed the national average and represent about a 20-point jump from 2013, the release said.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, which can be spread by anal, oral or vaginal sex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives, the CDC website states, and some types of HPV can lead to genital warts and cancers.

“The NIS-Teen data show that our efforts to protect teens from cancer are resulting in more teens getting vaccinated,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Julia Morita, according to the release. “Nonetheless, there is still work to do if we are going to reach our 2020 goal of 80 percent coverage.”

The mayor's office credited the increased coverage in part to a citywide public awareness campaign launched in January 2014. The campaign "featured ads on buses, trains, broadcast and digital media that encouraged parents to talk to their child’s doctor about getting the HPV vaccine," according to the release.

“CDPH’s vaccination-awareness efforts show how the City of Chicago is dedicated to keeping our young people safe and healthy,” Emanuel said in the release. “These results demonstrate how adolescents are taking action now so they can be more in control of their health tomorrow.”

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