Ob-Gyn Group Backs HPV Vaccines for 11-12 Year Olds
August 27, 2010
Girls ages 11-12 should receive either of the two approved human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer, according to a new recommendation by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG's advice is consistent with current federal guidelines.
"The ideal time for girls to receive the HPV vaccination is before they become sexually active and become exposed to HPV," said Dr. Diane F. Merritt, chair of ACOG's Committee on Adolescent Health Care. "For this reason, we recommend that girls get vaccinated by age 11 or 12 and possibly as early as nine, depending on risk factors. For those already sexually active, we also recommend the HPV vaccination for adolescents and young women up to age 26."
Merritt noted it is important to tell sexually active patients that the vaccine "may be less effective if they have already been exposed to HPV." In addition, "adolescents and young women who have had genital warts or cervical dysplasia can get the HPV vaccine but the benefits may be limited," ACOG said.
"[ACOG] emphasizes that routine Pap screening is still necessary for all women beginning at age 21, including those who have had the cervical cancer vaccine," the society said.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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