All 11- and 12-year-old boys should be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, according to new vaccination guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The guidelines serve as the official recommendation of the conclusions of a CDC advisory panel vote in October that boys should be routinely vaccinated for HPV, which has been recommended since 2006 for girls of the same age with the aim of preventing cervical cancer.
The agency also recommends that 13- to 21-year-old males and 13- to 26-year-old females get the three-dose vaccination, if they have not already been vaccinated. Men ages 22 to 26 “may be vaccinated.”
Experts have noted that increasing evidence shows that the vaccine is highly effective in preventing HPV, leading many to support universal vaccination.
“Girls acquire the infection from boys and it seems appropriate, even fair, for boys to share responsibility for maximizing community [herd] immunity,” Dr. Lawrence Stanberry, chief pediatrician at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, told ABC News in October.
Calls for boys and men to get the HPV vaccine increased last week after a report that nearly 7 percent of U.S. teens and adults have oral HPV, a virus which can lead to oral cancer. The report said men were three times more likely to have oral HPV than women.
The vaccines currently available, like Merck’s Gardasil and Glaxo SmithKline’s Cervarix, have only been tested for their effectiveness against the viruses that lead to cervical, vulvar and anal cancers.
The CDC’s latest recommendations also say all persons with Type 1 or 2 diabetes should get the vaccine for hepatitis B. Dr. Sarah Schillie, a CDC scientist, said that advice came about after several outbreaks of hepatitis B in long-term care facilities that began in the 1990s and occurred more frequently in recent years. Schillie said the outbreaks were the result of improper infection control and shared blood glucose monitoring equipment.
The guidelines were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.