Routine HPV vaccine for boys urged
February 1st, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Routine HPV vaccine for boys urged

Boys aged 9-18 may receive the human papillomavirus vaccine as part of their routine vaccines, according to  the American Academy of Pediatrics' 2011 schedule of recommended vaccines for immunizations for children and teens.

Routine vaccinations are recommended to prevent 17 vaccine-preventable diseases that occur in infants, children, adolescents or adults. The new schedules and guidance for teens and children includes the following changes:

Hepatitis B vaccine: Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver, caused by a virus that can be spread through contact with blood or body fluids. Most children receive the vaccine at birth. For those who didn’t, a minimum age of no earlier than 24 weeks of age for the final dose has been added to the catch-up schedule.

For more information on childhood and adolescent vaccines, go to the AAP site.

PCV13 vaccine: Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that gets into the lungs, causing the most common kind of bacterial pneumonia and can result in hospitalization and even death. The PCV7 vaccine has been replaced by the PCV13 vaccine. The new guidance explains which children should receive a supplemental dose of PCV13, including the timing and age for supplemental doses.

2010 – 2011 Influenza vaccines: Changes include guidance for whether to administer one or two doses of influenza, based upon whether the child has received the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and when he or she received the vaccine. The seasonal influenza vaccine for 2010-2011 contains both seasonal influenza and H1N1 vaccines.

MCV4 vaccines: The MCV4 vaccine protects against meningococcal disease, which is a serious bacterial illness that can cause an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections. ACIP recommends routine vaccination with one dose of MCV4 for all children aged 11 to 18 years. The new guidance recommends a booster dose for children who have received the vaccine, including when the booster should be administered. It also offers guidance for people aged 2 to 54 years of age who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

Pertussis vaccines: Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can become very serious especially among infants. In response to national increases of pertussis, the ACIP offered more guidance on catch-up and immunization guidance for children aged 7 to 10, for the Tdap vaccine.

Hib vaccine: The Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccine is recommended for children under 5 years old in the United States and prevents meningitis, pneumonia, epiglottitis (a severe throat infection), and other serious infections caused by the bacteria. New guidance suggests one dose of the vaccine be considered for people age 5 or older if they have sickle cell disease, leukemia, HIV infection or who have had a splenectomy.

HPV vaccine: The HPV vaccine protects against human papillomavirus, a common virus spread through sexual contact. There are nearly 40 types of HPV and some can cause cervical cancer in women and genital warts in both men and women. Guidance recommends HPV4 and HPV2 vaccines for prevention of cervical cancers in females, and HPV4 for preventing genital warts in females. New guidance is that HPV4 may be administered to males age 9-18 to reduce their likelihood of contracting genital warts, which is often has no symptoms when contracted.

Every three to five years CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updates vaccine recommendations, which cover topics such as spacing and timing of vaccines, vaccine administration, and vaccine storage and handling. ACIP adds new topics when they decide that previous statements on general issues, such as combination vaccines, adolescent vaccination, or adult vaccination should be revised, based “not only on available scientific evidence but also on expertise that comes directly from a diverse group of health-care providers and public health officials,” according to the CDC site.

The recommendations appear in the February issue of Pediatrics and are approved by the AAP, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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