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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Now it's boys who will be offered HPV vaccine

I have to admit that I've been relieved that as the mom of boys I haven't had to wrestle with the issue of giving an adolescent child the HPV vaccine. Not so fast, slacker.

Now comes the news from my colleague, medical writer Letitia Stein, that the vaccine has now been approved for boys and the pediatrician is likely to talk about getting the expensive, three-dose vaccination against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. In girls it has been found to prevent cervical cancer and in boys they say it can prevent genital warts, some cancers, and the vaccine could protect a boy's future sexual partners from HPV infections.

One leading expert in the field notes that getting boys vaccinated would slow the spread of the virus. Since only 18 percent of girls have received all three shots, according to the latest CDC data, boys could help to protect girls. Gardasil carries a sticker price of $130 per dose, or roughly $400 for the series. Insurance covers much of the cost for girls, but coverage for boys may be spotty, the story notes.

Darn it, Letitia! I had my head firmly in the sand on this issue and now I have to go and do some research.

-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:24pm]


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