SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is raising awareness about a cancer-preventing vaccine through Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Week from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12.
The HPVs are a group of 150 related viruses that can lead to certain types of cancer later in life and infection with HPV is very common detail Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
"The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department affirms our commitment to work towards the elimination of HPV-related cancer in our communities,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer for Santa Barbara County. "If your child is between ages 9 and 12, talk to their doctor about the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is safe, effective, and long-lasting. Getting the HPV vaccine at the recommended age will protect your child from head and neck cancer, as well as cervical cancer in their adulthood.”
According to the American Cancer Society, eight in ten people will get HPV at some point in their life, but for most people, the body is able to clear the infection on its own. Chronic, or long-lasting infection, especially when it is caused by certain high-risk HPV types, can cause cancer over time.
While there are currently no treatments for the virus itself, there are treatments for the health complications caused by the virus as well as the vaccine that can prevent transmission and protect against six cancers if initiated prior to exposure to HPV detail Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
Visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department webpage for more information about immunizations or for the Vaccines for Children Program which provides free vaccines to eligible kids.