New Guidelines Expand HPV Vaccines For 27 To 35-Year-Olds

Alicia Farmer
October 12, 2018

The Guardasil 9 vaccine has now been approved for people between the ages of 9 and 45.

In a survey returned by more than 1,900 medical students and 1,000 residents, recognition of the link between HPV and cervical cancer was almost universal, but only about half of the respondents were aware of the relationship between HPV and head and neck cancer, Benjamin Laitman, MD, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, reported here at the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.

Martin said HPV is so common because people often transmit it without knowing they have it. Because HPV causes most cervical cancers, women can now not do the pap smear at all and just get HPV testing every 5 years as a new option.

"Today's approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range", Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research", said in a press release. It works against the human papillomavirus, HPV, which can also cause genital warts and cancers of the vulva, anus, penis and parts of the throat.

Using these results, the FDA approved the newer formulation - Gardasil 9, which protects against five additional strains - for people ages 27 through 45. Adverse reactions that were most frequently reported included injection site pain, swelling, redness and headaches.

The HPV vaccine known as Gardasil protects against nine different strains. The best time to get it is before you turn 13 and have any intimate activity at all.

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"Although most studies have shown a general link between HPV and HIV co-infection, our findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection", said Brandon Brown, an HIV researcher and associate professor in the UCR School of Medicine and the lead author of the study.

She added: "There is a whole generation of people we were missing who didnt know about it. Doctors werent good at talking about it".

The FDA approval of the Gardasil vaccine for adults does not change epidemiological guidance for population-level inoculations.

"They want to feel protected to some extent", Dr. Ramondetta said. Indeed, that's why the FDA approval and vaccine recommendations focused on younger, potentially less sexually active people in the past. "So definitely it's worthwhile to get vaccinated if you think you're at risk and you're concerned about developing cancer from HPV", Rohr-Allegrini said. The vaccine is believed to help prevent them.

"There's close to 100 strains of HPV, nine of which are in the vaccine, and cause about 95 percent of the cancers", Rohr-Allegrini said.

Once that group, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, recommends a vaccine, insurers generally cover it.

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