State health officials say Minnesota is meeting national goals for vaccination of adolescents in two areas — the T-dap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and meningoccal vaccines — but lags well behind on teens receiving the vaccine for H-P-V. The state Health Department’s Kris Ehresmann says because the spread of H-P-V is associated with sex, “a lot of parents think, oh, I don’t want to go there, I don’t want to think about that for my kids. But I think what we want to kind of emphasize is that this is a vaccine that can prevent cancer later in life.”
Back to school is a good time for parents to check if their kids’ vaccinations are current. Ehresmann says, ask your health care provider. She says, “The reason that that’s best is because then if you discover that your kids are missing something, you can just set up an appointment to get that taken care of.” Ehresmann says adolescents age 13 to 17 should all have had the T-dap and meningoccal vaccines, the H-P-V vaccine, and the influenza vaccine.
Listen to the complete interview with Ehresmann here: