Why get 3 shots instead of 2 ???
For the ages of 9-14 years, the HPV vaccine series has been decreased from 3 doses down to 2 doses!
Just recently, a new recommendation for the HPV vaccine series was made by the CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Both organizations reviewed clinical data which showed that 2 doses of the HPV vaccine for patients 9-14 years were the same or better than getting 3 doses of the vaccine when 15 years or older.
What is HPV? Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very prevalent virus that currently infects about 20 million Americans, and increases with about 6 million new cases each year. HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted virus in the US. One of the reasons for its widespread transmission is that most HPV infections have no symptoms; and thus individuals with active HPV infection are completely unaware that they are spreading the virus when they are sexually active. Often, HPV infection will resolve on its own without any treatment.
However, when HPV does become symptomatic, it will cause warts on the genitalia and throat. A more deadly result of HPV infection is cervical cancer in women, as well as penile cancer in men. At this time, cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide, with about 4,000 deaths in the US each year.
At West Plano Pediatrics, we routinely provide the HPV vaccine to our patients. Our goal is to vaccinate both girls and boys before they have their first sexual encounter. When given now as a 2 dose series, the second dose of the HPV vaccine is given 6 months after the first dose.
Call now to schedule your annual health maintenance visit with us before your adolescent turns 15 years old!