Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A controversial STD vaccine is recommended for young girls. Now doctors say boys need it, too –before they’re sexually active.
Kai Jackson explains early vaccination could stop the spread of HPV.
Health experts now believe the vaccine will be more effective if females and also males receive it.
Boys should be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus. That’s the new recommendation of a panel at the Centers for Disease Control.
“The HPV can be transmitted from girls to boys and boys to girls very easily,” said pediatrician Dr. Wesley Boodish. “That’s led to the recommendation that boys get the vaccine, also.”
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The CDC reports about 20 million people are currently infected with it. Doctors say it increases the risk of cervical cancer in women. The HPV vaccine has been given to young girls for the past five years, yet now this panel says it should be given to all 11- and 12-year-old boys, too.
Parents say they see the pros and cons of boys getting the vaccine, too.
“I would think yes but it still depends on whether the vaccine is really necessary from the start,” said John Weems.
The CDC says the key is for boys and girls to get vaccinated before they’re sexually active.
One mother had her son vaccinated.
“Making sure he’s safe, making sure that the women that he’s with in the future are safe,” said Susie Silver.
The HPV vaccine is expensive. Three doses cost pediatricians more than $300.