I have written before about why the HPV vaccine is a public health necessity, especially important for young people. As our understanding of the risks and benefits of this vaccine evolves, the CDC has adjusted its schedule of injections over the years, building the best timeline to suit the greatest cohort of patients.
Recently some of the details of this schedule changed again, as the CDC revised its recommendations. The new guidelines include a slower schedule of injections for younger patients:
CDC today recommended that 11- to 12-year-olds receive two doses of HPV vaccine at least six months apart rather than the previously recommended three doses to protect against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Teens and young adults who start the series later, at ages 15 through 26 years, will continue to need three doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancer-causing HPV infection.
Why the change? Because fewer doses are needed at a younger age to produce the antibodies necessary for lasting immunity:
CDC and ACIP made this recommendation after a thorough review of studies over several meetings. CDC and ACIP reviewed data from clinical trials showing two doses of HPV vaccine in younger adolescents (aged 9-14 years) produced an immune response similar or higher than the response in young adults (aged 16-26 years) who received three doses.
HPV is a precursor to warts and cancer, and preventing it can save many millions of dollars in health care costs, and many thousands of lives, each year. To learn more about HPV, anal cancer, and safe vaccination, contact the Proctology Institute.