President's panel calls for more girls, boys to get HPV vaccine

President's panel calls for more girls, boys to get HPV vaccine
It protects against cancers of the cervix, throat, rectum and penis, but too few getting the shots.

(HealthDay)—Too few American girls and boys are getting vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), the President's Cancer Panel reported Monday.

HPV is linked to cervical cancer as well as penis, rectal and oral cancers. One in four adults in the United States is infected with at least one type of HPV. Increasing HPV vaccination rates could prevent a large number of cancer cases and save many lives, the panel said.

"Today, there are two safe, effective, approved vaccines that prevent infection by the two most prevalent cancer-causing types, yet vaccination rates are far too low," Barbara Rimer, chair of the President's Cancer Panel, said in a panel news release.

"We are confident that if HPV vaccination for and boys is made a public health priority, hundreds of thousands will be protected from these HPV-associated diseases and cancers over their lifetimes," she added.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that girls aged 11 and 12 receive either the Cervarix or Gardasil vaccines, and Gardasil is recommended for boys of similar age.

In 2012, only a third of girls aged 13 to 17 got all three recommended doses of HPV vaccine, CDC data shows. That's much lower than the federal government's goal of having 80 percent of girls aged 13 to 15 fully vaccinated against HPV by 2020, the report said.

The picture is even more disappointing for boys. Less than 7 percent of males aged 13 to 17 completed the recommended HPV vaccination series in 2012. The vaccine was recommended for boys more recently.

Boosting HPV vaccination rates to 80 percent would prevent 53,000 future cases among girls who are currently aged 12 or younger, according to the CDC.

The agency also estimates that increased vaccination would prevent thousands of cases of other HPV-associated cancers in both females and males, the report added.

A number of things need to be done to increase HPV , the panel said. These include public education and other efforts to increase teens' and parents' acceptance of the vaccines; encouraging doctors and other to recommend and give vaccinations; and making sure that the vaccines are available where teens receive health care.

More information: The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about HPV vaccines.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

1 in 5 boys got HPV shot in first year recommended

Aug 29, 2013

A new report offers a first look at how many boys are getting shots designed to protect girls from cervical cancer. Health officials say the number getting vaccinated so far is a good start.

Too few girls get HPV vaccine against cancer: CDC

Aug 30, 2012

(HealthDay)—Parents and doctors can do more to protect girls from cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), say U.S. health officials who are concerned by lagging HPV vaccination rates among females. ...

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

1 hour ago

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

2 hours ago

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.