HPV vaccinations

Gynecologists cheer FDA decision to expand HPV vaccine to older adults

Oct 9, 2018
Art Writ/Virginia Commonwealth University Capital News Service

Gynecologists hope the federal Food and Drug Administration's decision to approve human papillomavirus vaccine for older adults could protect more people. Missouri has one of the highest rates of cancer caused by the virus in the nation.

FDA officials previously recommended the Gardasil vaccine for those between ages 9 and 26. On Friday, the agency expanded the vaccine for those up to 45.

HPV is a skin virus that’s spread through sexual contact. There are many types of HPV and some eventually cause cancer in men and women, including cervical and throat cancer.


From the impact of the HPV vaccine on cervical cancer rates to a new 3-drug treatment for Hepatitis C, Sound Medicine's Jill Ditmire reports this week's Health News Headlines. 

Pan American Health Organization/Flickr.org

  PHILADELPHIA — “Knowledge is power” is an old saying. Another cliché warns, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” When it comes to getting inoculated against the Human Papilloavirus (HPV), it seems that neither saying is true. In fact, according to a study by a multidisciplinary University of Pennsylvania research team, knowledge may in fact be a meaningless thing.

Though the vaccine against human papilloma virus is highly effective in preventing certain forms of cancer, the number of preteens getting the vaccine is still dismally low, doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

"One of the top five reasons parents listed is that it hadn't been recommended to them by a doctor or nurse," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat told reporters at a press briefing.

The human papillomavirus vaccine was introduced in 2006 as a three-step vaccine series that significantly drops the risk of contracting HPV and developing cervical cancer in young women. Since the introduction of the vaccine, 100 million doses have been administered, with a 50 percent drop in the HPV rate among teenage girls.