Reuters Health (02.27.12) - Monday, February 27, 2012
Boys ages 11-12 should be immunized routinely against human
papillomavirus with Merck & Co.'s Gardasil vaccine, the
American Academy of Pediatrics announced Monday. Other males
up to age 21 should be vaccinated if they have not been
already or have not completed the full three-shot series, AAP
said in its updated HPV vaccine recommendations. The new AAP
policy is in agreement with CDC's recommendation of routine
HPV vaccination for boys and girls ages 11-12.
"What we are hoping will come out of this is that we can push
this as a cancer vaccine," said Dr. Michael Brady, chair of
AAP's committee on infectious diseases.
Gardasil can shield males against genital warts and anal
cancer, although protection is not complete. Vaccinating boys
is also likely to indirectly protect women through herd
immunity, AAP said. A 2010 survey found just a third of US
females ages 13-17 had received all three vaccine rounds - not
enough to help prevent HPV's spread, Brady said.
US regulators have found no serious side effects associated
with Gardasil, which costs about $360 for all three doses.
However, soreness at the injection site is common.
"This definitely is a very safe vaccine," said Brady. "Now
that it is a routine recommendation we anticipate that
coverage will be much better and that the cost barriers will
The policy statement, "HPV Vaccine Recommendations," was
published in Pediatrics (2012;doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3865).