February 6, 2018

State of Alabama
Press Release: Public Health, Alabama Department of

ADPH announces HPV video contest winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Burnestine Taylor, M.D., (334) 206-5325

In an effort to increase awareness about the human papillomavirus (HPV) cancer-prevention vaccine, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) conducted a video contest open to teenagers residing in Alabama, ages 15-19. The contest was held in partnership with the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to coincide with the ADPH Immunization Division's HPV Won't Stop Me campaign emphasizing the importance of receiving the HPV vaccine.

Video submissions were to focus on the occupations or activities teenagers would like to pursue in the future without the threat of cancers caused by HPV. Submissions were due by January 4, 2018, with the winner(s) of the contest eligible to receive a $250 gift card, as well as be promoted on the ADPH website.

The winners of the winning video were Emerald Coachman, Nia Freeman, and Skyler Lovvorn of Dothan. In addition to receiving the gift card, their winning video appears on the departmental website at alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization/cancer-prevention-vaccines.html.

"Our goal is to educate both young children and parents about the importance of getting vaccinated," said Dr. Burnestine Taylor, Medical Officer for Disease Control and Prevention. "The HPV vaccine can save lives and allow young Alabamians to have a healthier future."

HPV is such a common virus that nearly all men and women are infected with it at some point in their lives. HPV can cause several types of cancer and the vaccine can prevent seven types of cancer and two additional HPV infections.

Since the HPV vaccine was introduced in 2006, it has consistently demonstrated effectiveness by decreasing the number of infections and HPV precancers in young people. The vaccine underwent years of extensive safety testing before being licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the National Cancer Institute, the HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection when given before initial exposure to the virus and completing the recommended series.

The vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for both males and females. It is routinely given at 11 or 12 years of age, but it may be given beginning at age 9 years through age 26 years. For more information on HPV vaccination, visit alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization/cancer-prevention-vaccines.html.

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