The American Cancer Society has recommended that boys and girls aged 11 to 12 years should get the HPV vaccine. The recommendations take into consideration three main issues: late age at vaccination, vaccination in males and females and the use of the 9-valent HPV vaccine.
The guidelines were published online in A Cancer Journal For Clinicians. Studies have shown that the vaccine is most effective if administered to preteens and early teens. The new suggestions add another window of opportunity, for patients aged 22 to 26 years who have not received the vaccine.
The HPV vaccine becomes less effective at lowering cancer risk, the more you advance in age. The important fact is to give the HPV vaccine to every boy and girl aged 11 through 12. The course should finish around their 13th birthday.
Dr. Debbie Saslow believes that early vaccination is a good idea, in order to prevent HPV-related cancers. HPV is linked to most vaginal, anal, vulvar, cervical, anal, oropharyngeal and penile cancers in US women and men. The new HPV vaccine could prevent about 30,000 deaths caused by this disease each year in the United States. Vaccinating males could also protect females additionally.
The new guidelines update the 2007 recommendations, which did not mention the use of the newly licensed 9vHPV vaccine, or HPV vaccination in males. The trials were unfinished at that time, so the vaccine was not approved temporarily.
The Human Papilloma Virus (or HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Almost everyone who is sexually active has it or will get it during their lifetime.
It spreads through sex with someone who’s got the virus, and it doesn’t show any symptoms in most people. However, some strains cause genital warts or cancer.
These symptoms can appear years after getting the infection. 99% of cervical cancers are related to infections with HPV.
In the States, the shot to protect against HPV consists of three jabs over a period of six months. Studies have shown that the shots are equally effective in men and women, to protect them against a variety of cancers, such as penile cancer in males, cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer in females and oropharyngeal and anal cancers in men and women.
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