Gardisil Now Approved for Sons as Well as Daughters

Gardasil, which has been on the market for girls, ages 9-26, for protection from human papillomavirus (HPV) since 2006, is now approved for use in men and boys of the same ages.

In 2009 the FDA approved the drug for use in males, but it had yet to receive endorsement from the CDC for widespread vaccination.  However, last week the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously voted to endorse vaccination of boys starting at 11 years of age.

Studies showed that Gardasil protects against four strains of HPV in females; two that cause genital warts and two that cause cervical cancers.

In males the vaccine is effective in protecting against the same strains that cause genital warts. Further studies also show persistent HPV and genital warts in males may also expose them to some related cancers of the penis and anus.  Vaccinating boys could help prevent the spread of HPV to girls when they become sexually active.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently added HPV vaccines to their list of inoculations for children and teens.