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MADISON, Wis. - Sixteen local organizations received grants to improve rates of vaccinating teens against a virus that causes cancer, according to a release.

The Dane County Immunization Coalition is one of the organizations to receive a grant from the Wisconsin Immunization Program and the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program to promote and support vaccine-related activities within their communities, officials said.

The latest available figures, from 2013, show that almost 29 percent of Dane County teens ages 13-17 had received the three vaccinations necessary to prevent human papillomavirus infection, according to the release. The overall 2013 Wisconsin vaccination rate was 19 percent.

“We know that Dane County can do better, and our New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to improve our vaccination rates,” said Diane McHugh, coordinator of the DCIC.

DCIC is showing a movie trailer at local theaters encouraging the HPV vaccine for cancer prevention through late January, according to the release. The trailer also focuses on raising awareness in community groups on HPV vaccine benefits and training local health care providers on the importance of timely immunization.

Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said because the HPV virus is known to cause cancer, getting the vaccine is one of the surest ways to prevent cancer.

Dane County organizations work to increase HPV vaccination rates

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