Monday, October 24, 2016

ACIP: Preteens Need Only Two Doses of HPV Vaccine, Not Three

By Jason V. Terk, MD 
Keller pediatrician

We got some very good news this past week from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the body that recommends how the vaccines licensed by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) should be used in this country. The news this week was about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which has been recommended for routine use in adolescents starting at 11 years of age for the past 10 years.

We have been giving this vaccine in three doses since its licensure in 2006. Now there is enough data accumulated about how kids’ immune systems respond to this vaccine for the ACIP to recommend only two doses spread over six months for younger teens 11-14 years of age. Older teens and young adults ages 15-26 will still need three doses because they do not have as robust a response as the younger teens do.

This means younger teens can be considered fully vaccinated if they complete their series of just two doses over six months prior to their 15th birthday. Fewer doses means better compliance with this important cancer-preventing vaccine.

By Jason V. Terk, MD 
Cook Children’s Physician Network 
Keller, TX 
Committee on Federal Government Affairs 
American Academy of Pediatrics 
Member, Texas Medical Association Be Wise — ImmunizeSM Physician Advisory Panel

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