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Protecting kids from cancer one shot at a time
July 20, 2021

This article is for medical and dental providers caring for our youngest members

A recent immunization survey showed that roughly half of the adolescents in the U.S. had not completed the HPV vaccine series. Considering that adolescent immunizations overall have fallen during the pandemic, there’s no better time to get your patients back on track with their recommended vaccines.

For dentists: Talking about HPV

The facts
The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages dentists to promote administration of the HPV vaccine.

Because you perform oral cancer screenings, you play an important role in educating your patients and their caregivers on how to reduce their risk of these cancers by getting the HPV vaccine.

Starting the conversation
"Did you know there’s a recommended vaccine that prevents HPV, and related cancers? Your child is the right age to be vaccinated. It’s time to ask your pediatrician about it."

You are the key to HPV cancer prevention

A clinical recommendation is the number one reason parents choose to vaccinate their child. So, talk to your patient and their parents about the HPV vaccine, and you could help prevent more than 90% of cancers that are caused by HPV.

Steps you can take

  • Group recommended vaccines during routine visits to streamline scheduling.
  • Talk to families about appointment availability and schedule follow-ups right away.
  • Monitor existing and new patients who are overdue for vaccines and send them reminders.

Tips on talking to families

Use the ask, acknowledge, advise model to help address concerns families might have.

  1. Allow parents to ask questions.
  2. Acknowledge their concerns and be sure to address them specifically.
  3. Advise them on any conflicting information and help them understand that the HPV vaccine is effective and helps prevent cancer.