The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices today approved routine recommendation in favor of administering the quadrivalent HPV vaccine for boys aged 11 to 12 years.
Committee members decided that the vaccine (Gardasil, Merck) was safe, efficacious and cost-effective enough to warrant routine usage in this population. The recommendation issued in 2009 was permissive, meaning providers could give the vaccine to boys, but it was not routinely administered. This change would put the HPV vaccine into the regular vaccination schedule. The three-vaccination series can start as early as age 9 years.
"The committee recommended that routine vaccination of males aged 11 or 12 years with three doses of quadrivalent vaccine be given to prevent HPV infection and HPV-related disease," Anne Schuchat, MD,director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a phone call with reporters. "Boys and young men 13 to 21 years of age who have not already received the vaccine should be vaccinated."
Insurance companies typically cover HPV vaccine in boys, but that is not necessarily the case for a permissive recommendation, according to Schuchat, who said a routine recommendation for a vaccine usually translates into coverage without co-pays.
The committee voted 8-5 with one abstention in favor of recommending vaccination for young men up to age 21 years with permissive recommendation for men aged 22 to 26 years. The committee considered recommending vaccination up to age 26 years, which would have harmonized recommendations for men and women, but concluded that the vaccine was not cost-effective in men aged older than 21 years.
According to the committee, in extending the quadrivalent vaccine to young men, the vaccine was 89% effective against genital warts and 75% effective against precancerous anal intraepithelial neoplasia. Schuchat said the number of girls receiving vaccinations has been disappointing, and there is hope that vaccinating boys will protect both young women and young men.
Tony Talebi, MD