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