CDC recommends Georgetown-developed HPV vaccine for boys
Boys and young men should be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, to prevent throat and anal cancers, a federal advisory board for the Center of Disease Control announced early last week. The board recommended the vaccine for boys ages 11 and 12, as well as young men ages 13 through 21 who have not already received all three shots. Vaccinations may be given to males ages 9 through 26.
Work on this controversial vaccine began at Georgetown Medical Center during the 1980s. In 2006, Dr. Richard Schlegel, current chairman of the Georgetown’s Department of Pathology, developed the first HPV vaccine to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Initially, the vaccine was recommended for girls age 11 through 26, with disappointing participation.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in American adults, with more than 80% of women in the United States carrying some strain of it by age 50. HPV causes almost all strains of cervical cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. It can also cause anal and throat cancers in men.
The announcement is likely to change the use of the vaccine since most private insurers pay for vaccines after the committee recommends them for routine use. The three doses of the HPV vaccine cost pediatricians $300, and patients are often charged hundreds more.
The HPV vaccine has become controversial since it prevents diseases that result from sexual activity. Despite that the vaccine was developed by Georgetown researchers, the University’s distribution of the vaccine has been a topic of debate in recent years.
Photo from Babble.