Human papillomavirus is known to cause cervical cancer, but researchers have also linked it throat cancer, and there is evidence to suggest that it can cause other cancers as well. Until now, the available HPV vaccines have only been given to women and girls. But a US federal advisory committee has said that boys and young men should be vaccinated to protect against anal and throat cancers, reports The New York Times' Gardiner Harris. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's immunization advisory committee says boys aged 11 through 21 should be vaccinated, though the vaccine can also be given to boys as young as nine and men between the ages of 22 and 26. The vaccine has caused some political controversy, but experts are adamant about its positive effects. "This is cancer, for Pete's sake," Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's William Schaffner tells Harris. "A vaccine against cancer was the dream of our youth." The committee's recommendations are likely to cause private insurers to begin paying for boys to receive the vaccine, Harris adds.
Oct 26, 2011