KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A new immunization recommendation aims at preventing certain cancers in people under age 45.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice voted this summer that all men under the age of 26 should receive the HPV vaccine. That puts men on par with the recommendation for women. The recommendation for men was previously at 21 years and younger.
The advisory panel also said adults between 27 and 45 years old should consult with their doctor about receiving the HPV vaccination.
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Studies have linked it to causing cervical, anal, throat and other cancers.
Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Kevin Ault at the University of Kansas Health System said most adults with HPV will never develop cancer from the virus. He sits on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice and stands by its decision to recommend more people get immunized.
“We want people to be appropriately concerned. We want everyone to be vaccinated, we want people who can get a cervical cancer screening to get that screening. But yes, we don't want to overreact. But we don't want people to lose track of it. There's a good middle of the road there somewhere,” Ault said.
The CDC director will have to approve the committee’s recommendation before it becomes official.