Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Boys getting the HPV Vaccine

The government is one step closer to allowing boys to get the HPV vaccine... and a second, similar vaccine could soon be on the market for girls. An advisory panel of experts at the Food and Drug Administration overwhelmingly voted to recommend both vaccines.

The FDA panel said the data show Glaxo-Smith-Kline's Cervarix is safe and effective at preventing the human papilloma virus in girls. The vaccine protects against two strains of HPV that account for 70-percent of cervical cancer cases.

If approved, Cervarix would be given to girls and women ages 10 to 25, and would compete against a cervical cancer vaccine that's already on the market: Merck's Gardasil.

Experts voted to recommend boys get that vaccine to prevent against genital warts and rare cancers affecting the male genitalia. Gardasil is not cheap, at 300 to 400 dollars for the three-shot series.

Dr. Kristin Rager works with teens every day at the Carolinas Medical Center's teen health connection. She says preventing h-p-v related diseases for girls and boys is well worth the costs associated with the vaccine.

I am not sure about this one. I have heard so many scary stories about Gardasil that I would be hesitant to give my boys this vaccine. Fortunatately for me, there are a number of years to "watch and see" before my kids are old enough to get the vaccine anyway. What do you think about this?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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