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Should My Child Get the HPV Vaccine?

What is HPV?

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, with nearly everyone being infected at some point in their lives. In fact, it is estimated that 79 million Americans are infected with some type of HPV, and around 14 million new cases occur each year. 

HPV as a Cause of Cancer

While some infections will go away on their own and do not cause any serious problems, other infections may lead to cancer and other diseases in both men and women.

Cancers associated with HPV include:

  • Cervical cancer in females
  • Vaginal and vulvar cancers in females
  • Anal cancer in both females and males
  • Throat cancer in females and males
  • Penile cancer in males

It may take years, or even decades, for cancer to develop after a person is infected with HPV, so it’s important to do all you can to ensure your child is protected against the virus.


HPV Vaccination

The HPV vaccine, 2 shots given 6 to 12 months apart, is recommended for all kids ages 11 and 12. If your child is 13 or older, the vaccine will most likely require three doses for completion. The most common side effect that your child may experience after receiving the vaccine is light-headedness.

How safe is the HPV vaccination?

HPV vaccines are highly effective when given before the initial exposure to the virus. Protection is long-lasting and the vaccine has been proven to offer almost 100% protection from the most common HPV types that are known to cause cancer.

Not only is the HPV vaccine effective, but it is also safe. It has been on the market for more than 10 years and is just as important as other vaccines that are highly recommended for your child.

View a brief CDC video of a doctor explaining the importance of the HPV vaccine here. 

If your teen has not received the HPV vaccine yet or you have questions regarding it, please contact your pediatrician directly. For more information about cancer or cancer prevention, contact your local Northwest Medical Specialties location today!


HEALTH ALERT! For the safety of our patients and staff only patients will be allowed into our clinics and everyone MUST wear a mask. See additional information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


November 16, 2020 Update

During these difficult times we are making every effort to keep our patients and staff safe from COVID 19, we appreciate your patience and understanding with the changes you may have seen within our practice.

We strive to protect our patients and staff as much as we possibly can from any exposure on our premises.  NWMS has implemented a system wide policy that does not allow anyone in the building that is not a patient and everyone must wear an NWMS provided mask over their mouth and nose during their time on our premises.  This is to protect our vulnerable patients from the unforeseen possibility of exposure to COVID 19 which can be transmitted through aerosol droplets.  Sadly, we have had patients that have died from the complications of COVID 19, which is both devastating and preventable.

We offer a virtual visit option for family, friends, and companions to participate in the care of our patients through Zoom.  Our staff will assist you with every step of the login process and invite you to participate in real time from your vehicle or designated safe space in our building. Please contact us at 253-428-8700 to set this up.

The following offices are temporarily closed:

  • Bonney Lake
  • Federal Way

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (253) 428-8700.

Here are a few additional resources as well:

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control