The University of Virginia Health System is joining a coalition of health care organizations seeking to improve vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) in western Virginia.

Six different types of cancer can be caused by HPV in men and women, including cervical cancer and throat cancer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that HPV causes more than 33,000 cancers each year. The CDC says more than 31,000 of those could be prevented by the HPV vaccine.

The combined HPV vaccine completion rate for boys and girls was 53% in 2017, well below the goal of 80% set in the federal Healthy People 2020 initiative.

All UVa Children's Hospital primary care clinics will participate in the partnership.

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