This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society
As parents, we work hard to protect our kids against things that harm them. When they were young, we used to hold their little hands in ours when crossing the street. These days we try to keep track of who their friends are and who they’re texting to make sure they’re being safe and making healthy choices. We also worry about their health as we work to stay up-to-date on vaccines and health checks during COVID-19.
As a mom of two teens, I’m doing my best to help my kids stay healthy. This has meant making appointments for a flu shot and getting my kids the HPV vaccine.
I’ll be honest—I was on the fence about the HPV vaccine when my oldest approached the recommended age to be vaccinated. I know vaccinating my kids can help keep them healthy well into adulthood, and it is the best way to prevent six types of cancer.
I had done my research on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site, read information from the American Cancer Society (ACS), and heard from friends who had and hadn’t vaccinated their kids but wanted to talk to our family pediatrician about it. I knew what HPV is, what the vaccine prevents, and the recommended ages my children should be vaccinated but the question of safety weighed heavily on my mind.
During the annual well visit for my oldest, I asked the questions I had about how safe it was to get the HPV vaccine and its effectiveness. Our doctor understood my concerns because he said they’re the same ones that many other parents express. He shared research and statistics about the HPV vaccine and we discussed the pros and cons.
It helped to know 160 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been distributed since the vaccine was licensed. It has decreased the number of infections, HPV pre-cancers, and cancers in young people since it was introduced, and sstudies continue to prove that HPV vaccination is effective. I also appreciated knowing research has shown the vaccine provides close to 100% protection against infections and precancers caused by the types of HPV in the vaccine.
Doing my own research and talking to our family pediatrician made me confident that getting the HPV vaccine was the right decision for my kids.
I was compensated by ACS to write this post, but all opinions are my own and based on what I thought was right for my family.