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Dr. Christensen on KVUE: Boys Lagging in HPV Vaccination

A new study reported that boys lag behind girls for getting vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.

About 27 percent of males between 9 to 26 years old had received at least one dose of the vaccine in 2016, while 46 percent of girls and women were vaccinated in that same period, according to the results published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases

Cancer Prevention Vaccine

The HPV vaccine is used to prevent human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted infectious disease. HPV is associated with a number of cancers including cervical cancer, vaginal cancer and anal cancer, explained ARC Pediatrician, Dr. Jennifer Christensen in an interview with KVUE-TV.

Dr. Christensen says the report about the vaccination rates is not all bad news. Rates have increased among boys and girls and the gap in vaccination rates may be a timing issue. The vaccine was first recommended in 2006, when research showed that girls could benefit from taking the vaccine to reduce their risk of cervical cancers, explained Dr. Christensen. It wasn’t until three years later where it was shown that the vaccine offers cancer prevention benefits for boys, too.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

The HPV vaccine is typically recommended for children at age 11 or 12, so they are fully protected before becoming sexually active. However, anyone up until 26 years old can get the HPV vaccine. For those over 15 years old, three doses of the vaccine are required for full protection while just two doses are required under 15 years old.

Dr. Christensen says the vaccine has reduced the rate of cancers among those who have been vaccinated here in the US and elsewhere in the world.  “It’s not just a girl’s vaccine, it’s a cancer prevention tool.”

Watch the complete interview .

Tags: Dr. Jennifer Christensen, HPV Vaccine