"Ketchup, Catch Up!" is a children's book written by Fran Manushkin about a young monkey named Ketchup who is slower than all the other monkeys. Because he's so slow, he comes in last in every monkey activity.
But if you or your daughter have been slow to get her HPV vaccines, you doesn't have to come in last. You now have more time to catch up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that 11- or 12-year-old girls (and boys) receive two doses of HPV vaccine, which helps prevent cancers of the cervix, throat, vagina, and penis.
Unfortunately, less than half of girls in the U.S. ages 13 to 17 are up-to-date on the HPV vaccine series.
And as of 2016, only 27 percent of males ages 9 to 26 had received at least one dose.
A recent study from Kaiser Permanente in Northern California specifically looked at the risk for two types of cervical cancer. It suggests that for girls and women, catching up with a three-dose series, starting their first dose from ages 14 to as late as 20, will still offer significant protection.
That's pretty good news.
In addition, says the CDC, if you're a male who's 13 to 21 and skipped the vaccine series, you should get it, along with those who are 22 to 26 and have a compromised immune system or are gay, trans- or bisexual.
So, don't be a slow Ketchup; take advantage of this window of opportunity to catch up.
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