News Release
June 2, 2014

CDPH Launches Public Education Campaign to Increase HPV Vaccination Rates Among Chicago Youth

Comprehensive plan includes multimedia advertising as well as provider education for more than 200 healthcare providers

Ryan Gage

CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today launches a public education campaign to increase coverage levels of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among adolescents throughout the City. The campaign features print, broadcast, digital, billboard and transit ads that encourage parents to talk to a healthcare provider about having their children vaccinated with all three doses of the HPV vaccine at ages 11 or 12. CDPH and its partners will also engage residents on social media throughout the campaign using the hashtag #UCanStopHPV.

CDPH has also coordinated in-person and web-based provider education for more than 200 healthcare providers as well as 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.  

“HPV vaccination is cancer prevention,” said CDPH Medical Director Julie Morita, MD. “This campaign will help parents, youth and medical providers understand that if more youth get the vaccine today, more lives will be saved tomorrow.”

The current coverage level for Chicago adolescent females (13-15 years old) who have received all three doses of the HPV vaccine is 38%. Though low, Chicago’s rates are significantly better than the national coverage level of 28% for the same group. 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 campaign is intended to help CDPH reach its goal of 80% coverage rate by 2020.

“This campaign engages community partners, medical professionals and parents,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, MD.  “By bridging this gap, we can all do our part to protect the health and safety of our children in the future.”

To get your child vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 311 for more information about the HPV vaccine or to locate one of our Fast Track Immunization Clinics that provide all routinely recommended vaccines to children ages 0-18 years.

CDPH is working with the following community partners on the new vaccination plan: Access Community Health Network, Alliance of Chicago Community Health Centers, 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 campaign, which CDPH first announced in January of this year, is made possible through an $800,000 grant awarded to CDPH by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The campaign runs through October 31, 2014.