|Updated: 10/29/2011 4:38 pm
||Published: 10/29/2011 4:28 pm
This week, a federal advisory panel recommended boys get the vaccination for human papilloma virus or HPV. The vaccine can be expensive, so Saturday, doctors from UAMS and members of the Little Rock Chapter of The Links, Inc. sponsored a free vaccine clinic.
"Everyone should be protected from any type of virus out there," says Corey Mason.
Mason wants to protect himself from HPV. Saturday, he got his first of three HPV vaccines at Philander Smith College.
The vaccine is now approved for boys and girls ages 9 to 26 after initially only being offered to girls in 2006. Doctors with UAMS hope more parents consider vaccinating their children because HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
"In a lot of areas, that's just taboo to talk about and taboo to consider that you're trying to be vaccinated against something many people believe they will never get from anyone." Dr. Nancy Andrews Collins with UAMS.
Forty-nine percent of girls in the United State have only gotten the first of the three vaccinations according to the CDC.
Numbers are much lower in Arkansas.
"It's sad that less than ten-percent of kids ages 9-26 have had this vaccine, so it's up to use to develop partnerships as we are with The LINKS in Little Rock to impact what's going on and how to change those numbers," says Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman with UAMS.
"I feel inspired to come back here for the next two vaccinations in the near future because I never want to have to worry about getting lesions on myself or anything," says Mason.
For the vaccine to be effective, you have to get your second shot in two months and your third in six months. If you got vaccinated Saturday, you will get an e-mail letting you know when the doctors are coming back to campus.