TUESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Young males should receive routine vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a recommendation announced Oct. 25 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The recommendation, which was approved by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, was made in light of the knowledge that the vaccination is effective in males. Although the vaccine has been available since 2006, it had, to this point, been recommended only for females aged 9 to 26 to lower their risk of cervical cancer.
The CDC recommends inoculating males aged 11 or 12 with the three-dose vaccine, as well as those aged 13 to 21 who have not yet received all three shots. Since HPV is sexually transmitted, the hope is that vaccinating boys will reduce transmission of the virus to females as well as reduce overall HPV burden. At this point, the recommendation is limited to Gardasil, made by Merck. Another HPV vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix, is not yet included in the advisory.
"In a perfect world, immunization of all girls might be the most cost-effective way of preventing HPV disease in women," said Kenneth Bromberg, M.D., chairman of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Research Center at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City. "However, since we do not live in a perfect world, a very strong argument can be made for immunizing boys in order to prevent genital warts in males and the prevalence of HPV-related cancers in both boys and girls."