.[😊] Good news: New 2 dose only HPV Vaccine Schedule for those < 15 years of age[😊]
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It is now greater than 10 years since HPV vaccines were licensed in the United States for the prevention of cancers associated with HPV infection. ( June 2006)
It is also now 5 years since the CDC expanded its prior recommendations to include routine vaccination for boys age 11- 12 years of age. ( October 2016)
HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer in women. It also causes penile cancer in men; as well as anal cancer and head and neck cancers in both men and women.
When the CDC began recommending vaccination for men as well as women, it stated that if it were not for the fact that 40 % of HPV related cancers do occur in men, it would not have issued these recommendations expanding routine HPV vaccination to men as well as women.
HPV vaccine works best when given at a younger age. As we get older the vaccine will continue to work albeit less effectively.
This month ( Nov 2016) the American College of Immunization Practice ( ACIP) has adopted new guidelines for vaccination. Those age 9-14 years of age now need to receive only 2 doses 6-12 months apart in order to help prevent HPV infection. Those age 15 -25 years still need to receive 3 doses of vaccine at a 0, 2, and 6 month schedule.
Being vaccinated early not only is recommended due to enhanced immunity; the vaccine can not prevent HPV infection once we are already colonized with HPV virus.
Recent data show young women in NYC 14 years of age to already have a 20% rate of HPV infection; while 53% of women in NYC 20 years of age are also already infected with HPV. Vaccinating those already infected may prevent infection to other serotypes; but not to any serotype of HPV that one is already infected with.
Recent data also show that those children who received HPV vaccination do not have any higher incidence of sexual activity than those who did not receive vaccine. Parents therefore should not delay vaccinating their children due to any well meaning concern that vaccination would be a " license allowing their children to have sex." This has clearly been shown not to be the case.
HPV vaccination is safe.
Although when the vaccine was first licensed, there were reports linking the vaccine to Guillain-Barre syndrome; further studies have shown that there is no increased incidence of Guillain-Barre or other significant illnesses in the more than 100 million doses already administered. The most common side effect is soreness at the injection site, though some people have also fainted after receiving this and other vaccines.
Most health insurances cover HPV vaccination. Our office participates with the Vaccines For Children program providing free vaccination for those age birth through 18 years of age, with medicaid, child health plus, or even no health insurance coverage.
If your child 11 years or above has not yet been vaccinated for HPV, I recommend you to contact us to be vaccinated sooner rather than later.
We aim for 100% vaccination coverage in our office and only you can help us achieve this.
Wishing you and your families a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving Holiday.
Doctor Nass and his staff remain committed to providing the highest level of pediatric care, combining expert training, the latest medical technologies and over 25 years of experience serving the community.
You can reach our office at (718)520-1070 for all of your pediatric needs.
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Howard Nass MD FAAP and staff
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