When the HPV vaccine first came on the market in 2006, the CDC recommended it for a relatively narrow slice of the population: just girls and young women, ages 11 to 26. Over the years, though, that recommendation has broadened dramatically, and for good reason. There’s more and more evidence that the shot protects against the human papillomavirus, and prevents cervical, anal, and other cancers.
Most recently, in June, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the group that helps set the vaccine guidelines in America) voted to change its recommendation again. They said the vaccine should be given to all boys and young men up to age 26 (extending the age range from 21). They also decided men and women as old as 45 now should now talk to their doctors about the vaccine (though stopped short of endorsing it outright for all older adults).
For some people, the new guidelines didn’t come in time. Just two years ago, 50-year-old Rynette Reiling was a thriving wife, mom and business owner. Then she got some unexpected news…she had cervical cancer…one of 12-thousand women diagnosed each year with the disease due to the HPV virus. It’s one of the cancer types the HPV vaccine can prevent. She sought treatment at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and is on the road to recovery.
In the video, Dr. Lori Spoozak, a gynecological oncologist at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, talks about the importance of getting vaccinated for HPV, especially at a younger age. She says for the first time ever, we have a vaccine that prevents cancer, and says getting the vaccine rather than undergoing cancer treatment should be a no-brainer.
Also in the video, Rynette Reiling talks about how she lost it when she first got the diagnosis, and then thought about her daughter. She’s in her mid 20’s now, but was 13 when Rynette had her get the HPV vaccine. She says she’s grateful she was able to help prevent her daughter getting cancer…especially now that she’s getting married.
The video also contains pictures of Rynette and her family and b-roll of the HPV vaccine.