The Norwalk Health Department’s Immunization Action Plan (IAP) Program ran another successful campaign to promote the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to young people in the Norwalk area. As part of the Win/Win/Win initiative, IAP staff encouraged health care providers to discuss this anti-cancer vaccine with their teenage and preteen patients in Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton. Patients who talked to their doctor about the HPV vaccine and/or received the vaccine at their pediatrician’s office could enter a drawing to win an iPad, and the offices that submitted the most entries won a free lunch for their staff. The campaign was a Win/Win/Win: win immunity for children and the community, win an iPad, and win lunch for health staff. This year, a 12-year-old Norwalk resident won the iPad after speaking with his doctor about the HPV vaccine. The Center for Advanced Pediatrics and East Avenue Pediatrics, both in Norwalk, won lunch for their staff members.
This year, the Health Department received over 390 raffle entries, which means that over 390 pre-teens and teens talked to their doctors about the importance of being vaccinated against HPV or received the vaccine itself. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, causing approximately 35,000 cases of cancer each year. It is the primary cause of cervical cancer and contributes to many types of cancer in both men and women.
“The HPV vaccine can prevent several cancers in men and women,” explained Pam Bates, RN, BSN, Norwalk IAP Program Coordinator. “Boys and girls are recommended to start the vaccine series between 11 and 12 years of age for the best protection.”
The Health Department’s IAP Program works with families, health care providers, and the community to ensure that area children and adults receive age-appropriate vaccines. For more information about the Health Department’s services for those seeking vaccines, visit our website at www.norwalkhealth.com.