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The CDC recommendations for the HPV vaccine have just changed. If you’re 45 years of age or younger, then you might want to talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated yourself.

Related HCT episode:
1. The HPV Vaccine Is Still Underutilized:

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#healthcare #hpv #vaccine
We've covered the HPV vaccine before, but the recommendations just changed. That's news, right? And, this is Healthcare Triage News.


Back in 2006, long before Healthcare Triage was around, the HPV vaccine was recommended for women age 11 to 26 years old. That was it. But, since then, data's been accumulating, and it's all been good.

The HPV vaccine has been linked to lower rates of not only HPV, but also cervical cancer, anal cancer, and more. In fact, HPV causes most cervical cancers, about 90% of anal cancer, 60% of penile cancer, and 70% of oropharyngeal cancer. 

A really recent systematic review in The Lancet included data from 60 million people with up to 8 years of post-vaccination follow-up. It showed significant evidence of the substantial impact of HPV vaccination on HPV infections and cervical cancer in girls and women, and anogenital warts in girls, women, boys, and men.

The higher the vaccination rates in populations, the more profound the effects. So, we added boys and men to the recommendations years ago. And now, as of June, a vote of a panel at the CDC argues to increase the age range for men to 26 from 21 years. And, more significantly, they recommended that everyone, men and women, up to age 45 should talk to their doctors about getting the vaccine. 

This last recommendation has caused a bit of a stir, though. There isn't an unlimited supply of the vaccine, and some think that diverting shots to adults where the benefits aren't clearly known isn't a good use of supplies. Others worry that extending it to adults might make some think that getting it in childhood isn't important; it is. Becoming immune before ever getting exposed to HPV is best.

The FDA has approved the shot for people up to 45 years of age, so that's good. But websites, including the CDC's, still haven't totally caught up.

So, why are we increasing the age range? The main reason is because some people, perhaps those who might be at higher risk of exposure to HPV through new sexual partners, might benefit still. Too few people in America still get vaccinated. It's not a required shot like others for school. There's still a lot of misinformation out there.

The bottom line is that kids should absolutely continue to get vaccinated. Mine all have. But, if you're 45 years of age or younger, which I'm not, then you might want to talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated yourself.


Hey! Did you enjoy this episode? You might like this one, also about the HPV vaccine.

Another good way to support the show is You go to We'd especially like to thank our research associate, Joe Sevits, and, of course, our surgeon admiral, Sam.

And, you should buy my book, The Bad Food Bible.