Boys and girls should start series at age 11 or 12 to protect against human papillomavirus
WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The American Cancer Society has endorsed the U.S. government’s HPV vaccination recommendations, which include immunizing all preteens against human papillomavirus (HPV). The report was published online July 19 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The current recommendations on HPV vaccination from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices include the following: HPV vaccination should begin for girls and boys at 11 or 12 years, but children as young as 9 can start receiving the three-dose vaccine series; young women between 13 and 26 years and young men between 13 and 21 who have never been vaccinated against HPV or have not had all three doses should become fully vaccinated; and teens older than 11 or 12 who have not been fully vaccinated against HPV should receive the vaccine as soon as possible.
In addition, adults between 22 and 26 who were not vaccinated against HPV should be advised that vaccination against the virus at older ages is less effective in reducing the risk for cancer. HPV vaccination is recommended up to age 26 for men who have sex with men and for people with weakened immune systems, including those who are infected with HIV.
“HPV vaccination has the potential to prevent tens of thousands of cancers and hundreds of thousands of pre-cancers each year,” report author Debbie Saslow, Ph.D., the American Cancer Society’s director of cancer control intervention for HPV vaccination and women’s cancers, said in a Society news release. “It is critical that all stakeholders — families, health care providers, and others — make HPV vaccination a priority, so that prevention of the vast majority of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers can become a reality.”
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