Human papillomavirus vaccine for boys? Panel says yes

Some parents worry about vaccinating their kids against measles and other childhood diseases because they fear the vaccine can cause autism. But studies involving thousands of children have found no connection between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. There are risks of allergic reactions and seizures from being vaccinated, but these are very small - far less worrisome, the CDC says, than coming down with measles. istockphoto

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(CBS/AP) Think Gardasil is just for girls? A government panel on Tuesday voted to recommend that boys, too, get the controversial human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

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Doctors argue that the vaccine could protect boys and men against genital warts as well as cancers of the mouth, penis and anus. But they also say that vaccinating boys could help stop them from spreading the sexually transmitted virus to girls.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the CDC, voted unanimously to recommend routine use of Gardasil in 11- and 12-year-old boys, Reuters reported. There were 13 yes votes and one abstention.

Gardasil is made by Merck.

Previously, the CDC said doctors were free to use the HPV vaccine in boys, but it has stopped short of recommending routine vaccination, Reuters reported. The CDC recommends Gardasil and Cervarix, an HPV vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, for girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26.

The CDC has more on human papillomavirus.

  • David W Freeman

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