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Push to Improve HPV Vaccine

Created: 01/30/2014 7:31 PM KAALtv.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Minnesota Department of Health is launching a new effort to improve human papillomavirus vaccination rates among kids. We talked with Olmsted County Public Health today about the local effort that's underway. Several organizations have teamed up to identify health priorities in our community. One of them being vaccine preventable diseases like HPV.

The main purpose of the HPV vaccine is to prevent cancer. It's recommended for kids starting at 11-years-old, but only one third of girls and even fewer boys have received it. The Minnesota Department of Health received a $600,000 grant to launch a public awareness campaign.

In our area., Olmsted County Public Health, Mayo Clinic and the Olmsted Medical Center are working together to make vaccines better assessable.

"Our next priority for our vaccine preventable diseases would be working with our area schools this spring. We'll be offering clinics for our middle schools to ultimately increase our vaccination rates," said Stacy Sundve, Olmsted County Public Health.

The goal with the statewide campaign is to reach 80 percent coverage level, right now it's just above 30 percent.