TEXAS – Texas has ranked near the bottom of a nationwide list that ranks states for children getting the human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine.

On Tuesday, health officials are taking steps to ensure all children are protected. Right now, Texas ranks 47 in the number of kids being vaccinated.

The American Cancer Society and other health groups are holding a news conference about vaccination efforts called HPV Cancer Free. Their goal is to increase the vaccinations rates among 13-year-olds to 80 percent.

The vaccine blocks the virus that causes several cancers, including cervical cancer. An estimated 14 million people are infected with HPV annually.

HPV has been proven to cause six different cancers including:

  • Cervical
  • Vaginal
  • Vulvar
  • Anal
  • Penile
  • Throat cancers

While there is no treatment once people contract HPV, the vaccination is a preventative step.

“No cancer has been eliminated yet, but we believe if these conditions are met, the elimination of cervical cancer is a very real possibility,” said Richard C. Wender, M.D., chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society.