Illinois ranks nearly last among states for its rate of girls who get recommended shots for a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. That's the word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released a report Thursday on 2012 vaccination rates. About 21 percent of Illinois girls ages 13 to 17 got the recommended three doses of vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (pap-uh-LOH'-muh-veye-ruhs), or HPV. Only Arkansas and Mississippi had lower rates. The Illinois rate represents a decline from the previous year when 34 percent of girls got fully vaccinated for HPV. Chicago's HPV vaccination rates were higher than the rest of the state. 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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