New grant to fund HPV vaccinations for Valley students

2 months 2 days 17 hours ago Sunday, March 26 2023 Mar 26, 2023 March 26, 2023 5:05 PM March 26, 2023 in News - Local

More than $2 million will go toward vaccinating children in the Rio Grande Valley against HPV. 

Studies show young people in the Valley are at a higher risk of developing HPV related cancers.

"HPV diseases are higher in the Texas-Mexico border," University of Texas Medical Branch physician and gynecologist Dr. Ana Rodriguez said. "Prevention is very important for this population because they have a very low resource, lack of access to care, lower insurance rates for the population, so prevention is going to be very important."

Dr. Rodriguez says the grant money will be spent on vaccinating middle schoolers from Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties.

"We've learned that if you get the vaccine between the ages of 11 and 12 or before 15... you only need two doses and your immune system is very receptive," Dr. Rodriguez said. 

Dr. Rodríguez says the UTMB team plans to vaccinate more than 10,000 students.

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