Soundbites: Benefits of the HPV vaccine for boys and girls
A study presented at a 2018 meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology looked at reasons why HPV vaccination rates differ between boys and girls, even though the Centers for Disease Control recommends the vaccine for all genders. The usual age is between 11 and 12, but the vaccinations can be given earlier by a couple of years, or later, into the teens and early 20s.
The meeting presentation discussed 2016 data indicating that 65 percent of girls in the United States had started the HPV vaccine series, compared to 56 percent of boys. The vaccine protects against human papillomavirus. This is a common sexually transmitted disease that can lead to various related cancers, such as cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, mouth, or throat cancers.
Dr. Beth Ebel, a pediatrician at UW Medicine Harborview and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, discusses the benefits of the vaccine for boys and girls.