Vaccine News & Notes — January 2021

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Parents PACK

Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. And while you might not think COVID-19 has anything to do with cervical health, think again. COVID-19 has caused many people to skip or delay important checkups, vaccinations and health screenings, including cervical cancer screenings.

Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). While most HPV infections resolve on their own, some persist and can cause cervical, or other, cancers. Routine Pap tests can detect precancerous changes in the cervix early enough to prevent development of cancer. And while a vaccine against COVID-19 was just recently developed, a safe and protective HPV vaccine has been in use since 2006. The vaccine is recommended for all adolescents between 11 and 12 years of age, but it can be given as early as 9 years of age.

As we start a new year, make a resolution to catch up on any delayed appointments or schedule upcoming ones, so that you and your family stay up to date on vaccines and routine screenings.

Find out more:

New! COVID-19 resources online and at your fingertips

The Vaccine Education Center recently published new resources about COVID-19 and the vaccines, including:

  • A Look at Each Vaccine: COVID-19 Vaccine webpage — This page describes COVID-19 and provides information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including how it spreads, what symptoms to watch for, and how to protect yourself. You’ll also find information about the two mRNA vaccines recently approved for use against COVID-19, as well as common vaccine-related questions.
  • COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: What You Should Know Q&A sheet — This downloadable PDF provides information about the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and answers common questions about vaccine recommendations, safety and effectiveness, as well as other questions people might have. Also available in Spanish.
  • Vaccines on the Go mobile app — Our mobile app places COVID-19 resources right at your fingertips. The app was recently updated to include information about COVID-19 vaccines and disease. The app also includes links to COVID-19-related videos. If you haven’t downloaded the free app yet, please visit to learn more and consider downloading it today. App users can email their vaccine-related questions to the VEC team right from the app.

Also, speaking of asking questions, don’t forget about the page offered by the VEC. The page now has close to 70 questions, and more are added regularly. Check it out if you have COVID-19-related questions!

Check out this film to see how vaccines are developed!

As we settle into a new year with the hope of new vaccines to get this COVID-19 pandemic behind us, many have been watching the process of vaccine development in real time. Find out more about the history of vaccine development this January by watching the award-winning documentary, HILLEMAN – A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children. HILLEMAN tells the inspiring story of one dedicated scientist — Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman — whose war on childhood diseases has been credited with saving millions of lives every year.

Watch the film:

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.