Influenza Vaccine

Flu vaccines are still available. Please call (417) 882-1600 to schedule a nurse visit.

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Ambetter Insurance

Effective January 1st, 2020,  we will no longer be a participating provider for Ambetter.

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What you should know about HPV Vaccination

What is HPV?

HPV is a virus that can cause cancer or genital warts. There are more than 100 known strains of the virus. Research has shown that infection with some of these strains over time can lead to cancer.

How common is HPV?

About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that almost every person who is sexually-active will become infected with HPV at some time in their life if they don’t get the HPV vaccine.

True or false: HPV can only be transmitted through unprotected sex

False! Although unprotected sex significantly increases risk for HPV transmission, it is not the only way someone can be exposed to the virus. The virus can be transmitted through open-mouth kissing, oral sex, and skin to skin contact where a condom cannot provide protection. There have even been reports of people acquiring the virus who have never had sex before.

How does someone know if they are infected with HPV?

Most often, these infections are asymptomatic and go unnoticed. Most of the time the immune system will clear the infection on its own, but sometimes the virus persists in the body causing cellular changes that can lead to either cancer or warts.

What kind of cancer does HPV cause?

Cancers associated with HPV include:

-Cervical cancer

-Throat and mouth cancer

-Vulvar cancer

-Anal cancer

-Penile cancer

An estimated 34,800 HPV-attributable cancers are diagnosed each year in the US.

92% of these cancers could have been prevented with the HPV vaccine.

What does the HPV vaccine protect against?

-Researchers have identified the the most dangerous strains of HPV and developed a vaccine to target those strains

-The current version targets 9 types of HPV including HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

-HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 are the strains that can lead to cancer

-HPV 6 and 11 are the strains that cause genital warts

When should the HPV vaccine be given?

-The current recommendation is to give the first dose at 11 or 12 years old (or as early as 9) and the second dose at least 6 months after that

-The best time to give the vaccine is BEFORE a child may come into contact with the virus

-The vaccine has recently been approved up to age 45 for those who have not been immunized before

Learn more about HPV here:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0822-cancer-prevented-vaccine.html

https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/How-to-Talk-to-Your-Preteen-About-HPV-Vaccine.aspx

Miranda Eubank, 3rd year medical student 

University of Missouri class of 2021