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State

Chicago launches plan to encourage HPV vaccine

CHICAGO — Chicago health officials are launching an initiative to encourage adolescents to get recommended shots for a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced Wednesday a plan to increase vaccination coverage to prevent human papillomavirus (pap-uh-LOH'-muh-veye-ruhs), or HPV.

The plan includes training for 200 medical providers, a new patient reminder system and a citywide public education campaign aimed at teenagers and their parents.

Funding for the initiative comes from an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chicago's HPV vaccination rates were higher than the rest of the state in 2012. A national report released last summer found nearly 38 percent of Chicago girls got the HPV shots. The rate in the rest of Illinois was about 17 percent.

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