October 25, 2011
The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ruled today to support the vaccination of boys against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). According to MSNBC, the controversial decision stems from the fact that less than half of all young girls are receiving the shots, though they have been available for a few years.
Despite the low rates of usage, attributed to lack of education and miscommunication about the disease with parents, the agencies suggest that males who receive the vaccination will not only limit the spread of the sexually transmitted disease to girls, but can also reduce the risk of certain cancers in their own bodies.
The drug has been approved for boys and girls, ages 9-26; however, most children receive the shot between 11 and 12-years-old when they are scheduled for other vaccinations. The committee also recommends boys between the ages of 13 and 26, who have not previously been vaccinated, get the shots as well.
Recent studies showed that close to 80 percent of men and women are infected with the virus at some point in their lifetime, but few ever show symptoms of the disease.