Pre-teens need two instead of three doses of HPV vaccine: CDC

Pre-teens need two instead of three doses of HPV vaccine: CDC

Pre-teens need only two doses of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine instead of previously recommended three, federal public health officials announced on Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC's) previous recommendation was for a three-shot regimen for children to get protected against HPV, but it revised its recommendation after multiple studies showed that two doses are sufficient.

Announcing the revised recommendation, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said, "Safe, effective, and long-lasting protection against HPV cancers with two visits instead of three means more Americans will be protected from cancer. This recommendation will make it simpler for parents to get their children protected in time."

The National Cancer Institute's acting director Douglas Lowy also expressed hope that the federal agency's revised recommendation will lead to a rise in the percentage of eligible teenagers who need to get vaccinated.

However, older teens who haven't got vaccinated before age of 15 years still need to get three doses. Young women and men can get HPV vaccine through age 26 and 21, respectively.

The federal agency recommends the vaccine for preteens to ensure protection before they get potentially exposed to the treacherous virus through sexual contact. According to CDC, as many as 14 million Americans, including teenagers, become infected with HPV annually.


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