POSTED: Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 3:10pm
UPDATED: Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 3:12pm
Santa Fe, NM (KTSM) — The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that coverage levels for the three vaccines routinely recommended for adolescent boys and girls increased in 2013.
Those three recommended vaccines are: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine.
Coverage for the complete series of HPV (three doses) for 13-17 year old girls in New Mexico at 44.3% was above the national average of 37.6%.
Coverage in New Mexico of boys the same age, at 19.2%, was also above the national average for boys of 13.9%.
Each year in the United States, there are about 17,000 women and 9,000 men affected by HPV-related cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of those cancers could be prevented with the HPV vaccine.
HPV is a common virus that is easily spread during sexual activity with another person.
It is possible to have HPV without knowing it.
It is recommended that the boys and girls receive the vaccination at age 11 or 12.
The vaccine is given in a series of three shots over six months
New Mexico coverage rates for Tdap and meningococcal vaccines, while below the US average, rose to their highest levels since the vaccines have been introduced.
New Mexico's Tdap coverage was 85.6 %, compared to the national average of 86 %. New Mexico's meningococcal vaccine rate of 70.9 % was lower than the national average of 77.8%.
The Immunization Program has worked to improve teen vaccine coverage rates since 2011 by working with Vaccines for Children providers to identify teens needing follow-up doses.
The New Mexico Department of Health has also partnered with UNM to sponsor physician in-service visits focusing on teen vaccines, and to sponsor focus groups conducted by UNM researchers on physician, parent, and teen beliefs and attitudes on teen vaccines.