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04/12/2017 10:22 EDT
HPV (human papillomavirus) continues to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. A report released last week by CDC shows that in 2013-2014 (study period), 45.2% of men and 39.9% of women had some form of genital HPV. About 1 in 5 had high-risk genital HPV, which increases the likelihood of developing cancer. Oral HPV: Oral HPV prevalence was 11.5% among men and 3.3% among women. Approximately 4% of adults had high-risk strains of oral HPV that indicate increased cancer risk. CDC recommends that all boys and girls be routinely vaccinated for HPV starting at age 11 or 12 to prevent cancer.

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02/21/2017 16:37 EST
Although flu season started several months ago, health officials expect flu activity to remain high for at least a few more weeks, according to a new CDC report. Specifically, the report stated that from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, the percentage of patients visiting the doctor for flu-like symptoms was 4.8 percent, which is well above the "national baseline" for flu visits — the threshold for what's typically seen in the off-season — which is 2.2 percent. If you have not gotten vaccinated, it is not too late. People who got a flu shot this year were about 50 percent less likely to visit the doctor for flu, compared to people who weren't vaccinated, according to a separate report from CDC. Data from previous flu seasons show that, in general, flu vaccines reduce the risk of visiting the doctor for flu by about 50 to 60 percent.
02/14/2017 10:47 EST
On average, each year, fewer than half of Americans get vaccinated against the flu. A study recently published in the Journal of Health Communication suggests the reason may have to do with something called the "third-person effect," or the idea that people tend to think media messages will have more of an impact on other people than it did on them. The researchers found that most people didn't feel any more motivated to get the flu shot after viewing flu-centric news coverage, and considered themselves more immune than others to the health warnings they saw. "This points to the idea that people credit themselves as being sophisticated and intelligent enough to pay attention to the content, rather than look for superficial cues such as who were the quoted sources," lead author Hyunmin Lee, a communications professor at Drexel University, said in a statement.
02/07/2017 12:56 EST
The schedules summarize recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in October 2016, including a two-dose schedule of 9-valent HPV vaccine (HPV9; Gardasil 9) for patients ages 11-12, and a two-dose schedule of meningitis B vaccine (MenB) for adolescents. For HepB vaccine, the birth dose recommendation now reads "within 24 hours of birth" instead of the previous "at hospital discharge." The flu vaccine footnote has been updated to indicate that LAIV (nasal spray) should not be used during the 2016–2017 season, and the meningococcal vaccines footnote has been updated to include recommendations for meningococcal vaccination of children with HIV infection and to reflect recommendations for the use of a 2-dose Trumenba (meningococcal B vaccine) schedule.
01/31/2017 16:16 EST
In conjunction with other cancer centers across the nation, Roswell Park Cancer Institute issued a joint statement earlier this month urging parents and doctors to get teens vaccinated against HPV. Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson joined colleagues from 68 other cancer centers in reiterating their endorsement of HPV vaccination for adolescents and young adults as a safe, effective way to protect against cervical and other cancers. CDC recommends the vaccine for boys and girls, to be given at ages 11 or 12, although children as young as 9 can be vaccinated.

Immunization

Vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illness and death from many infectious diseases. Vaccines protect people by preparing their immune systems to recognize and fight these diseases. Vaccines also protect communities by reducing the spread of illness.

The Food and Drug Administration adheres to rigorous testing standards before licensing vaccines to ensure their safety. Leaders in the fields of medicine and public health recommend vaccines for children, adolescents, and adults to prevent disease.

What you should do

Parents

Make sure that your children are up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations infants and children preteens and teens. Ask your children’s pediatricians about vaccinations at each visit.

Children without doctors who are uninsured can be vaccinated at St. Joseph Center for Health and Human Services. Older children can also be immunized through Vaccinate Before You Graduate, a catch-up program run at Rhode Island high schools.

Adults

The immunizations needed by adults are determined by several factors. These include age, lifestyle, how healthy the adult is, and the adult’s immunization history. Talk to your healthcare providers or review the adult schedule of recommended immunizations to know what immunizations you need.

Travelers

If you are planning to travel outside of the United States can receive recommended vaccines at travel clinics.

People who will be in contact with infants

Adults and adolescents who will be around infants should be vaccinated with a single dose of Tdap. This could include parents, siblings, grandparents, babysitters, and other child care providers. Tdap protects against, among other diseases, pertussis. Infants are too young to be fully immunized against pertussis, but an infant's exposure to the illness can be reduced if he or she only comes into contact with people who are vaccinated. This practice is called cocooning.

What we are doing

Rhode Island provides healthcare providers with all of the vaccines that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend that children receive through 18 years of age. Rhode Island also providers healthcare providers with all recommended vaccines for adults. Although some healthcare providers may charge patients small fees for the administration of vaccine, Rhode Island gives these vaccines to healthcare providers free of charge.

Additionally, the Rhode Island Department of Health works with mass vaccinators, schools, healthcare providers, and many others to make vaccine available at community clinics.

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