Millions more men and women could be added to the cancer prevention pool based on a federal HPV vaccine recommendation. MUSC Health obstetrician and gynecologist David Soper says he’s ecstatic about the change.
“It’s a big deal since this is the catch-up group that hasn’t had the opportunity to be vaccinated as a child.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said people up to the age of 45 should consider getting an HPV vaccine. Human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted, can cause cervical, anal, vaginal, penile, and throat cancer.
The old age range was for girls and women 13 to 26 and boys and men 13 to 21.
Soper says he was already recommending older patients get the vaccine, but without the CDC recommendation, a lot of insurers weren’t covering it. Now, he thinks that will change.
The change in age recommendations comes as MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is launching a statewide push increase the HPV vaccination rate. There’s also discussion in the news about possibly ending cervical cancer one day thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Soper says if you and your doctor decide you need HPV vaccination, you’ll get three shots over six months—and a lifetime of knowing you’re doing what you can to stay healthy.