ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Wondering when the best time is to get your HPV vaccination? A recent announcement from the New York State Department of Health is urging people to think about getting it sooner than later.

NYSDOH announced Wednesday they are endorsing the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Roundtable’s campaign.

Officials say the HPV vaccine can prevent more than 90 percent of cancers caused by HPV from developing later in life.

The Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations, recommends the HPV vaccination for children at age 9 to prevent HPV-related cancer.

The HPV vaccine is given in a series of two or three shots, depending on the age when the series is started. Officials urge individuals that start the HPV vaccine series between the ages of 9 and 14 need two shots at least six months apart.

Those who start the vaccine series between ages 15 and 26, or anyone with a weak immune system between the age of 9 and 26, will need three doses for full protection. The NYSDOH says adults through age 45 who are not already vaccinated should speak to their physician about the benefits of vaccination. 

According to the NYSDOH, studies show the vaccine produces a stronger immune response in preteen and young teens compared to old teens and young adults who receive the vaccine. They add the New York State Prevention Agenda Dashboard shows that only 40.2 percent of eligible children get the vaccine by age 13.

Officials say starting HPV vaccination at a younger age, the DOH says they hope to see an increase in the percentage of 13-year-old adolescents with a complete HPV vaccine series.

The NYSDOH says there is no demonstrated advantage to vaccinating youth later in life, either after they reach puberty, or when they become sexually active. They add two shots given at least six months apart provide the same protection for those younger than 15 years, as three shots do for teens receiving them when they are 15 or older.

The vaccine can be administered at the same time as other recommended vaccines, such as Tdap, the meningococcal vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine, and the influenza vaccine.

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