The vaccine that protects against a sexually transmitted, human papilloma virus, should be routinely recommended to boys ages 11 and 12, a government advisory committee said Tuesday.
The HPV vaccine is already advised for routine use in girls ages 11 to 12 to prevent cervical cancer. But a panel of health experts said that new data on the Gardasil vaccine’s ability to curb the risk of anal cancer, particular among gay men, warrants adding boys to the list of people who should get the three-dose vaccine.
Moreover, vaccination of boys will help protect unvaccinated females from HPV infection and the subsequent risk of cervical cancer, according to data presented to the panel.
The 13-0 vote in favor of routine vaccination of boys updates a 2009 vote by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group that advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC officials do not have to follow the committee’s guidance but often do.