Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ACIP recommends routine use of HPV vaccine in boys

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted earlier this morning to recommend that boys be routinely vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). With this new recommendation, the cervical cancer-preventing vaccine that the AAFP's ACIP liaison Johnathan Temte, MD, PhD has called a "cornerstone of female health" is now poised to be incorporated into the ACIP's childhood vaccination schedule for boys as well. Previously, the advisory group had taken a "permissive" stance toward HPV vaccine in boys, noting that it could be administered to prevent genital warts but not recommending it routinely.

Important AFP online content on HPV infection includes a recent clinical overview of its manifestations, testing, and prevention; and short drug reviews of the quadrivalent and bivalent vaccines. The latter review notes that the bivalent vaccine "does not protect against the two strains of HPV responsible for genital warts and is of no value in males."

What do you think of the new ACIP recommendation, especially in light of recent political controversies over HPV vaccine mandates? Have you been following the ACIP's previous recommendation to routinely administer HPV vaccine to girls, and if so, do you now plan to do so with boys? We would love to hear your thoughts.