This is the second of two blog posts that will discuss the topic of HPV for girls and boys. This post will look at the two types of vaccines for girls and boys. In Part I we will took a look at HPV and what it causes. We also looked at Cervical cancer, Pap smears, and how HPV is transmitted.
Vaccines for HPV
HPV vaccines for girls has come about in the last few years. Currently there are two vaccines on the market: Gardasil and Cervarix.
Of the several types of types that cause cancer. The HPV vaccine looks at the higher risk population and the higher risk viral types. Types 16 and 18 are the most risk because they account for over 70% of the cervical cancers.
Types 6 and 11 don’t cause cancer, but do cause genital warts and this vaccination protects against those types. These two viral types cause most all genital warts.
So far, HPV vaccine is not approved to be administered to women who are pregnant. There has been no alarming or adverse findings during trial stages.
This was approved for use in June of 2006 by the U.S Food and Drug Administration or also called, the FDA.
The vaccine was intended for use in girls aged 9 through 26. It was not approved for use for women aged 27 to 45. The reason was not because of safety but rather efficacy at preventing cervical cancer at that age.
It must be understood that it is to prevent cancer in those who are becoming sexually active and have not yet come in contact with the virus. That is primarily why the age is so young. If you’ve already come into contact with the virus, you are already at risk and don’t qualify for vaccinations.
There are 3 injections that are given over a six month period.
The vaccine is considered very safe and only minor side effects have been seen. This is usually around the area where the injection was given.
This vaccine is very similar to Gardasil. It helps protect against the same viral types. Additionally, virus types 45 and 31 had some improvement or protection during clinical studies.
This vaccine is made from a different pharmaceutical company than Gardasil. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
It received approval from the FDA in October of 2009.
It also is given in 3 injections over a six month period of time.
It has a comparable safety history as Gardasil and a similar set of side effects.
The largest difference seems to be the antibody level after it was given was higher in Cervarix than Gardasil when retested after 6-7 months.
It is approved to be given in females from age 10 to 25.
HPV vaccine has been approved in several countries. This includes the United States, Australia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and more.
Gardasil is the recommended vaccine currently and in 2009 was granted approval by the FDA. Typically for boys it is given to prevent transmission and prevention of genital warts and penis and anal cancers.
For boys who have never had the treatment before, it is recommended to begin at age 9. It has been approved until age 26. This is very similar for approval for girl vaccinations.
A three dose series will also be given.
Gardasil is currently approved and in demand for gay men. Though if they’ve never been given the vaccination before, the recommended age remains the same. Over 26 and the approval is no longer given.
Administering of the vaccination is effective prior to transmission of the HPV to the male.
Initially the benefits of vaccination for boys was primarily for also protecting the girls. This has been expanded to include genital warts and anal cancers.
Safety for boys if very similar to girls.
The risk for HPV is very high for both boys and girls, men and women. For the most part, HPV infection will not lead to any serious consequences. But the risk is high that a serious medical issues, genital warts and cancer could lead to serious medical issues.
Vaccinations are preventative care and will remain such. As a parent, you may not think that at age 9 or 10 or even much older, that your child will have issues with HPV. But studies are showing that this vaccination is helping with HPV infections, even at such a young age.
The new realization is upon us. Vaccinations are beneficial but sometimes it is our own fear that prevents us from getting treatment.
At least now, you are better informed to make a good decision.