Advocates Push for More HPV Vaccinations in Bexar County

By Pilar Arias

The Immunization Project and the city of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District teamed up Monday to host a human papillomavirus (HPV) forum.

The goal is to get more Bexar County boys and girls to get the HPV vaccination series, which is 2-3 doses, depending on the patient’s age.

Nearly 33 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys aged 13-17 in Bexar County have completed the series, according to a news release.

San Antonio program director for the Immunization Partnership, Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, says encouraging physicians to recommend the series of shots is key.

 “They still think of it as a fairly new vaccine and so they’re hesitant to push it, when it’s been out for more than 10 years,”  Rohr-Allegrini said. “It’s a very important vaccine and it prevents cancer. What could be better than that?”

Rohr-Allegrini says all insurances pay for the HPV series and for those uninsured, the state will cover it. HPV vaccinations can protect against cervical, vaginal, penile, anal and other cancers.

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