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Most US girls don't get shot that fights cancer

Only 40 percent of girls in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), compared to over 70 percent in Autralia, Canada and the United Kingdom, and 97 percent in Rwanda.

Janet Pulliam, community manager of health initiatives for the American Cancer Society, presented those statistics and others during an American Cancer Society meeting at Southwestern Medical Center on Thursday.

"It's under the federal guidelines for vaccinations, so insurance and SoonerCare covers the HPV vaccines," Pulliam said. "We're doing this push because immunization rates are low and the cervical cancer rates in this county (Comanche) are high."

HPV vaccinations are administered in three doses. There are usually no follow-up appointments set and no reminders mailed after the first dose in given, so it may be easy for parents to forget that two follow-up vaccinations are needed.

HPV vaccine (Guardasil) is given as a three-dose series; the second is a month or two after the first and the third is six months after the first.

The Lawton Constitution

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