The FDA has approved, and the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) now supports, the administration of the HPV vaccine Gardasil to males between 9-26 years of age. The Gardasil vaccine has been given to females since 2004. As with females, males who receive the HPV vaccine follow a 3 dose schedule; the initial dose is followed by a second dose two months later and a third dose six months after the first dose.
Why Should Males Receive HPV Vaccine?
Human Papilloma Virus is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than half of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives. While many HPV infections go away on their own, with each infection there is a risk of cancer or chronic disease. Human Papilloma Virus is a cause of cervical cancer in females and genital warts in both females and males. HPV is also linked to oropharyngeal (throat) cancer and cancer of the penis.
Protection from the vaccine is expected to be long lasting. In clinical trials, the vaccine showed a 93% efficacy against HPV type 11 and 88% efficacy against HPV type 6, the two types of virus associated with more than 90% of cases of genital warts in men. The vaccine is most effective if it is given before an individual becomes sexually active.
Vaccination for HPV can begin at your son’s annual physical or be scheduled as a separate appointment. Please check with your insurance company regarding coverage for the vaccine as most, but not all companies pay for the vaccine at this time