The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on Tuesday to recommend the HPV vaccine for boys and young men. The decision was nearly unanimous with eleven members voting yes and one member abstaining.
According to the committee, boys can receive the vaccine as early as 9-years-old. The committee members also voted on a recommendation for boys aged 13 to 21 with eight voting yes, five voting against, and one abstaining; that same recommendation also suggested the vaccine for males aged 22 through 26.
The recommendation comes at a time when HPV has become the number one sexually transmitted disease in the United States with nearly 50% of all men and women contracting the disease.
HPV vaccination was first approved for use by the FDA in 2006 when Gardasil was deemed safe; three years later Cervarix was also approved. Up until this time both Gardasil and Cervarix have been marketed towards females.
The CDC is now recommending the vaccine for boys because it has been show to stop several types of cancer which can affect the penis and rectum. The push also comes at a time when HPV has been linked to 70% of all oropharyngeal cancers. HPV vaccination also protects against most types of genital wars.
One CDC member says the push to immunize boys comes at a time when female vaccinations have not been pursued as much as the agency had hoped; with males being immunized, he says it will help reduce transmission “back and forth.”
The CDC’s announcement comes just months after the American Academy of Pediatrics added the HPV vaccine to their vaccination schedule for both boys and girls.
CDC committee recommends boys receive HPV vaccine: http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/25/health/hpv-vaccine/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
Gardasil HPV Vaccine: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gardasil_vaccine_and_box.jpg