NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As parents around the country cancel well-checkups for their children to avoid potential coronavirus exposure, public health experts fear they may be inadvertently sowing seeds that could result in another health crisis.

At yearly well-checkups, school age children often receive routine summertime vaccinations like Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and meningitis. Certain ages also typically receive the HPV vaccine, a vaccine proven to prevent cervical cancer.

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However, the American Cancer Society is warning that with children not going in for well-checkups, there has been a drastic drop in vaccination rates, specifically HPV vaccination rates, which could put children at risk later in life.

Jeff Fehlis with the American Cancer Society says, “Nationally we saw, and in Texas as well, a 70% decline year over year in April. And another 50% decrease in vaccination rates in May.”

The American Cancer Society’s research has found the HPV Vaccine can stop more than 90% of HPV cancers when given at the recommended ages and works best when given between the ages of 9 and 12.

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Fehlis suggests talking with your child’s physician to see if the HPV Vaccine is right for your child.

“We have an opportunity through this vaccine to eventually eradicate cervical cancer,” Fehlis said.

“Think about that. And it all depends on us getting those vaccination rates up in children.”

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Click here to learn more about the HPV vaccine and the research done by the American Cancer Society.

Madison Sawyer