CDC Releases New HPV Vaccination Recommendations

TIME (8/15, Ducharme) reports that on Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination recommendations. According to the article, “The CDC reaffirmed that its prior recommendations for kids stand: boys and girls should get their first dose of the HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old, and a second dose six to 12 months later. If they do not get vaccinated on time, ‘catch-up vaccination’ should be completed by the time they turn 26, the CDC now recommends.” However, after age 26, “the CDC says most unvaccinated adults do not need to get the shot – even though it is safe and approved for people up to age 45.” The reason is that the “vaccine is most effective among people who have not already been exposed to HPV.”

Separately, U.S. News & World Report (8/14, Esposito) discusses the HPV vaccine, stating it “targets the human papillomavirus” and can help protect children “from developing six types of cancer in adulthood,” including oropharyngeal cancer. The article states that “cases of oropharyngeal cancer caused by HPV, particularly the strain called HPV-16, are on the rise, according to the National Cancer Institute.” The US jurisdictions of Rhode Island, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are requiring students to get the HPV vaccine, and “legislation to require or fund the vaccine, or promote HPV and vaccine awareness, is pending in at least 42 states,” according to the article.

An ADA Science Institute-developed Oral Health Topics page on cancer (head and neck)states that “HPV infection is a major risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer,” and “data suggest that oral HPV infection prevalence is lower in men and women who have received HPV vaccine than those who have not.”

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