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City Services

January 22, 2014

CDPH Launches New Plan to Encourage Adolescents to Get HPV Vaccine and Protect Against Cancer

One of 11 awardees to receive federal funds from CDC to increase education and outreach on the HPV Vaccine to Protect against Cancer

Ryan Gage    ryan.gage@cityofchicago.org

Chicago - In recognition of January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announces a new plan to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage levels among Chicago adolescents as part of the department's ongoing efforts to decrease cancer rates across the city. The new plan includes in-person training for 200 medical providers, a new patient reminder system and a citywide public education campaign geared toward adolescents and their parents. The new plan is made possible through an $800,000 grant awarded to CDPH from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) following a competitive bidding process.

"We are already doing better in Chicago than the nation as a whole, but there is more for us to do," said Dr. Julie Morita, Medical Director for the CDPH Immunization Program. 

The current coverage level for Chicago adolescent females (13-15 years old) who have received all three doses of the HPV vaccine is 38%. The national coverage level for the same group is 28%. HPV is known to cause several forms of cancer, including cervical cancer, and the CDC recommends vaccines for all U.S. adolescents 11 years of age and older.

"The dangerous illnesses associated with HPV could mean life or death, and no one's child should have to suffer in the future, especially since we have a vaccine that is proven safe and effective," said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  

The new plan is intended to help CDPH reach its goal of 80% coverage rate by 2020. Over the next year, CDPH and its partners will implement in-person and internet based provider education for more than 200 healthcare providers in clinics throughout Chicago.  In the spring, CDPH will launch a comprehensive public education campaign, informing teens and their parents of the importance of receiving the vaccine. As the vaccine is administered in 3 doses over the course of 6 months, CDPH will also coordinate a patient reminder system using electronic immunization records, helping ensure adolescents who received the first dose follow up with their medical provider for subsequent appointments. 

"This vaccine is cancer prevention," Dr. Morita continued. "By working with partners, parents and medical providers, we will increase our immunization rates and save lives."

CDPH is working with the following community partners on the new vaccination plan: Access Community Health Network, American Academy of Pediatrics (IL Chapter), American Cancer Society, Inc., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chicago Public Schools, Erie Family Health Center-School Based Health, EverThrive Illinois, Foundation for Women's Cancer, IL Academy of Family Physicians, IL Dept. of Public Health, Loyola University-Proviso East School Based Health Center,Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Respiratory Health Association, Rush University Medical Center, University of Chicago Medicine -Health4Chicago/Comprehensive Cancer Center/Sisters Working It Out, UIC- Internal Medicine and Pediatrics/Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships.

The HPV grant runs through December 31st, 2014.