Panel discussion about HPV

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On Tuesday, Jan. 29 the Laramie County Library will host a news conference and panel as apart of the annual Day of Hope to highlight the importance of the HPV vaccination in the Cottonwood Room at 3 p.m.

Topics will include why vaccination rates are low in Wyoming, common concerns for parents, and a cervical cancer survivor’s story.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s important for children to get vaccinated for the Human Papillomavirus because it is so common with one in four Americans being infected. Each year, HPV causes 33,700 cancers in men and women.

Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems but the infection can cause cancers of the genitalia and cancers of the back of the throat including the base of the tongue and tonsils.

The CDC recommends children who are between the ages of 11 and 12 to get two shots of the HPV vaccine 6-12 months apart. Adolescents who receive their two shots less than five months apart will require a third dose of the HPV vaccine.

The speakers at the panel will include Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with Wyoming Department of Health, Dr. Banu E. Symington, hematologist/oncologist with Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center, Heidi Furov, clinical consultant and quality improvement specialist nurse with Wyoming Department of Health Immunization Unit, and Kelly Sugihara, Wyoming Cancer Resource Services Region V representative and cervical cancer survivor.

The Laramie County Library is located at 2200 Pioneer Ave.