The HPV vaccine has been a hot topic in the news lately, but it’s mainly been focused on vaccinations for girls. What about boys and the HPV vaccine?
An advisory council on immunization practices with the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the Human Papillomavirus vaccine, commonly referred to as HPV, be offered to males, ages 9-26 years, to prevent penile and anal cancer. It’s the same vaccine that helps protect females from cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer.
The HPV vaccine was approved for females, ages 9-26 years, in 2006. The vaccine contains four strains of the HPV virus number six, 11, 16, and 18, which are implicated in the development of cervical cancer and external genital warts.
The vaccine also utilizes recombinant DNA techniques to ensure that no one would “get” the HPV virus from the vaccine—they would just benefit from the protection the vaccine induces in the immune system.
The vaccine contains no thimerosal, which is often a concern of many anti-vaccine movements.
Vaccinations represent one of medical science’s greatest achievements. Experts say that during the 20th century 300 million people have been saved from death by vaccines. That is nearly twice as many people as were killed in all the wars that occurred in the 20th century.
Unfortunately, there are a growing number of well-meaning people, often misinformed, that choose not vaccinate their children against deadly diseases. For those parents struggling with vaccination decisions for their children, there is lots of good literature out there, including “Deadly Choices” by Dr. Paul Offit. You can also talk with your child’s pediatrician or family physician about your vaccination concerns.
Please take advantage of the protection vaccinations provide for your child, your family, and our community.