NOTICE: FDA Approves Age Expansion of HPV Vaccine

We previously outlined the guidelines for HPV vaccination in our article for Cervical Health Awareness Month in January of 2019.

HPV is an infection that is sexually transmitted, causing numerous cancers when not properly immunized. HPV is highly contagious, and responsible for the majority of cervical and anal cancer in both men and women. 

The prior recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was for children, both male and female to begin the vaccine at age 11 or 12, having the two dose series of vaccinations within a six month time period. 

Previously, it was recommended that females be treated for HPV until age 26, and men until age 21.  

The age expansion brings the male from age 21 up to age 26.

Further, the panel voted for HPV vaccination for men and women ages 27 to 45.  This requires physicians to consider all factors when making a clinical decision within this age group according to the patient’s history. 

The types of cancers associated with HPV are cervical cancer of the vagina and vulva in females, penile cancer in males, as well as cancer of the anus and back of the throat in both men and women. Any type of cancer that is preventable with a vaccine should receive priority status.  Further, education in HPV within the home as well as school can help in educating our children about this dangerous STD. 

The vaccination is safe and effective, with minimal side effects involved.  Luckily, the vaccination is almost 100 percent effective. 

It should be noted that the CDC has found that some parents do not want to encourage HPV vaccination because they do not believe in encouraging sexual activity. Further, HPV is not a required vaccination for school entry in most states.  Check with your individual state’s vaccination requirements.

Being proactive and aware can help in the prevention of future cancers.