The human papillomavirus quadrivalent vaccine (HPV4) has been recommended for boys 11 to 12 years old by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an agency associated with the Centers for Disease Control. Language drafted for the vaccine recommendation reads, “ACIP recommends routine vaccination of males aged 11-12 years with 3 doses of HPV4. The vaccination series can be started beginning at age 9 years.” (Source: Medscape.com)
So far it appears only one of the two HPV vaccines is recommended for boys, the quadrivalent one (HPV4), whereas originally both HPV4 (Gardasil) and HPV2 were available for girls. Males aged 13 to 21 were also recommended by the committee for HPV4 vaccination.
HPV4 (Gardasil) vaccine protects against the HPV strains causing genital warts, while HPV2 Cervarix, protects against the HPV strains causing about 70% of cervical cancers. HPV vaccination can also prevent anal cancer and may protect against throat cancer.
The ACIP HPV4 boys recommendation comes on the heels of two HPV-related research studies in the news this month. One focused on the increase in HPV-related throat cancers associated with oral sex, “Throat cancers caused by a virus transmitted during oral sex have increased significantly in the United States in recent years,” researchers reported. (Source: NYTimes.com)
The ACIP is panel of 15 immunization experts who vote on various vaccine recommendations, 8 members that function as representatives to other agencies, and 30 non-voting members.
Image Credit: Sir James. The image is of generic teens, including boys. They are not affiliated with the story’s content at all.