HPV PROTECTION EXPANDS
The HPV vaccine originally made news because it was designed to be given to children, in the expectation that they would someday be sexually active. That was an uncomfortable conversation to have with parents, so many doctors didn’t push very hard, and many youngsters missed out — leaving them unnecessarily vulnerable to cancer.
In October, a second chance arrived: The FDA expanded the approved age range to receive the vaccine, saying that men and women could receive it from 27-45.
“This is great,” gynecologic oncologist Dr. Lois M. Ramondetta told The New York Times. While it’s best to get the vaccine before 13, getting it later can still be protective, she said.
“There is a whole generation of people we were missing who didn’t know about it. Doctors weren’t good at talking about it,” she told The Times.
There is a bit of a downside to this good news: Adults will need three shots, whereas two would have sufficed in childhood. But getting another shot (pardon the expression) at this degree of protection is clearly worthwhile.