The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted yesterday to recommend that boys between 11 and 21 years old be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus (HPV). Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventative Medicine at Vanderbilt University, stated, “If the boys are also immunized, it reduces the transmission back and forth.”
Previously, the CDC only recommended the vaccine for women ages 9 to 26. According to CNN, HPV is the most prevalent disease in the United States and over 50 percent of people who are sexually active with become infected with HPV. The CDC indicated that the vaccines “were tested in thousands of people around the world. These studies showed no serious safety concerns.”
The Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that over one-third of American women are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) by the age of 24. While the majority of HPV strains are benign, some strains can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. About 2.2 percent of infected women have a strain that is high-risk for cervical cancer, the recent research finds. Gardasil, which prevents cervical cancer and genital warts caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, was approved by the FDA in June 2006.