Alaska HPV Vaccination Month

August 5, 2023


August is Alaska HPV Vaccination Month, and KBFPC is taking a shot at cancer by sharing information about how to get the vaccine in our community!

Recommended for all young people, this safe and effective vaccine helps prevent six types of cancer. Know the facts about the benefits of early vaccination and contact your healthcare provider to schedule an appointment.

What is HPV? Human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a group of viruses that are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Most sexually-active individuals will acquire some type of HPV during their lifetimes.

What are the signs and symptoms of HPV? There are over 100 different types of HPV. Many types of HPV do not cause any symptoms and will go away on their own. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts. Other types of HPV, known as “high risk types”, can lead to cancer. These types of HPV can cause cervical, vaginal, mouth, rectal, penis, and other cancers.

What is the HPV vaccine? A vaccine that offers protection against many of the types of HPV that cause cancer and genital warts. To provide the best protection against cancer, the vaccine should be given as part of childhood vaccinations at ages 9-12; however, the vaccine is also recommended for women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 who have not previously received it. Every year in the United States, HPV causes approximately 30,700 cases of cancer in both women and men. While the HPV vaccine can prevent many of these cancers, it is still important to use condoms to reduce your risk for HPV and to complete cervical cancer screenings, such as pap tests, on the schedule recommended by your healthcare provider.

Is the HPV vaccine safe? The HPV vaccine has been given for more than 15 years and provides long-lasting protection. The HPV vaccine is safe and effective, with no long-term side effects. In fact, 109 studies conducted among 2.5 million people in 6 countries have shown that there have been no serious side effects other than what is typical for all vaccines (i.e., allergic reactions, fainting).

For more information on HPV and available vaccines, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

Infographic about HPV Vaccination and Cancer Prevention

Where can I get the HPV vaccine in Homer? If you are a client at Homer Medical, SVT, or NTC you can likely receive the vaccine at a low cost. If you don’t have a primary care provider, you may be able to receive the vaccine through Homer Public Health Center. Please contact the clinics for specific information about appointments and billing. The HPV vaccine is considered a preventative health service and is covered by Medicaid and many private insurance plans. All billing for the vaccine is done through the clinic that provides it, which means the financial programs offered at KBFPC are not able to help cover the cost. People under 18 years old need parental consent to receive vaccinations.

Homer Medical Center: 4136 Bartlett St. (907) 235-8586 (Takes Medicaid, also bills private insurance.)

SVT Health and Wellness: 880 East End Rd. (907) 226-2228 (Only available for ages 19 and under. Sliding scale for uninsured clients; takes Medicaid, also bills private insurance.) 

Ninilchik Tribal Community Clinic: Homer or Ninilchik location to be determined during scheduling. (907) 567-3970 (Vaccines available based on state supply. Free for folks under 18, and uninsured adults up to 26. Not available to adults 26+ who have Medicaid/Medicare/VA Insurance.)

Homer Public Health Center: 195 E Bunnell Ave. (907) 235-8857 (Available for female clients age 9-26 and male clients age 9-21; may be available for males up to age 26 according to health status and sexual activity. Sliding scale to $0 available; takes Medicaid.)