Committee Opinion No. 704: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with anogenital cancer (including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and anal), oropharyngeal cancer, and genital warts. The HPV vaccination significantly reduces the incidence of anogenital cancer and genital warts. Despite the benefits of HPV vaccines, only 41.9% of girls in the recommended age group, and only 28.1% of males in the recommended age group have received all recom-mended doses. Compared with many other countries, HPV vaccination rates in the United States are unacceptably low. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three vaccines that are effective at preventing HPV infection. These vaccines cover 2, 4, or 9 HPV serotypes, respectively. Safety data for all three HPV vaccines are reassuring. The HPV vaccines are recommended for girls and boys aged 11–12 years and can be given to females and males up to age 26 years. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend routine HPV vaccination for girls and boys at the target age of 11–12 years (but it may be given from the age of 9 years) as part of the adolescent immunization platform in order to help reduce the incidence of anogenital cancer and genital warts associated with HPV infection. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other health care providers should stress to parents and patients the benefits and safety of HPV vaccination and offer HPV vaccines in their offices.

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