Advisers say boys should get HPV vaccine

Oct. 25, 2011 at 4:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. government already recommends girls get the human papilloma virus and it may recommend the same for boys, officials say.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccinations, voted to recommend males age 11-12 be vaccinated for HPV, a cause of cervical cancer in women and other cancers in men and women, CNN reported.

The HPV vaccine is already recommended for females ages of 9-26, ideally before they become sexually active, to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. The CDC recommends girls get the vaccine at age 11 or 12.

The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, approved in 2006, and Cervarix, approved in 2009, is given in three doses.

Gardasil also protects against most genital warts and also protects against anal, vaginal and vulvar cancers, all of which are associated with certain strains of HPV, the CDC said.

Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, who attended the CDC meeting as an adviser, but not as a voting member, said the boys will also be protected against cancers of the penis, rectum and perhaps head and neck cancer. A study found some 70 percent of all oropharyngeal -- behind the nose and down to the neck -- cancers are caused by HPV.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has already included the HPV vaccine on its list of recommended vaccines for boys, CNN said.

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