Children who are vaccinated for human papillomavirus (HPV) before age 15 now need only 2 doses instead of 3, according to the CDC.

The agency accepted the recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

“Safe, effective, and long-lasting protection against HPV cancers with 2 visits instead of 3 means more Americans will be protected from cancer,” stated Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the CDC, in a statement. “This recommendation will make it simpler for parents to get their children protected in time.”

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The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12. The CDC had previously recommended 3 doses of the vaccine for all ages. Now, children younger than 15 may be given 2 doses instead of 3, and the shots should be spaced at least 6 months apart.

Teens and young adults who receive their first HPV dose at age 15 and older will still need 3 doses, according to the CDC.


  1. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC recommends only two HPV shots for younger adolescents. Accessed October 20, 2016.