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The Vaccine Panel approves HPV shots for men up to 26 years – Brinkwire

A vaccine against cervical cancer and other cancers should be recommended for both men and women up to 26 years, a US government committee decided on Wednesday.

The vaccine protects against HPV, a virus that is usually spread through sex and can cause certain cancers and genital warts.

The Atlanta Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices raises the recommended vaccination age for men from 21 to 26, making it the same as the existing women's recommendation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost always accepts the panel's recommendations and uses them as guidance for US doctors.

The HPV vaccine is usually given to 11 and 12 year olds to protect them before the first exposure to sexually transmitted viruses.

Women older than 26 were recommended to receive a "catch" vaccination if they missed the shots before adolescents.

For men, the capture recommendation had only been applied for up to 21 years, as research suggests that men tend to be exposed to sexually transmitted viruses earlier.

The panel decided on Wednesday to equalize the age recommendations to make it easier for doctors.

The CDC estimates that about half of Americans aged 18 to 59 had some form of genital HPV. Vaccinations against it were first available in 2006 and each dose now costs 216 dollars.

The vaccine is approved for persons up to 45 years of age, but the same panel declined a proposal to recommend it to people older than 26 years.

Instead, there was a weak approval for adults between the ages of 26 and 45, which means that patients and doctors can make the decision together.

It is not clear how many cancers would be prevented in that age group or if the cost is worth the public health benefit, experts said at the meeting.

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