As NAMS Medical Director, I look forward to sharing with members news and updates on information that will hopefully enhance your clinical practice, support your research endeavors, and ultimately improve the lives of the women we serve.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices expanded the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination recommendations to include
1. Routine and catch-up immunization for males through age 26 years who are inadequately vaccinated
2. Shared decision making between healthcare providers and adult patients aged 27 to 45 years who have not been adequately vaccinated
3. No recommendation for immunization in adults aged older than 45 years who have not received adequate vaccination, given that the vaccines are not approved for that age group.
The current CDC recommendation is for routine vaccination at 11 to 12 years of age (can be given as early as 9 years of age) and extending through age 26 in females and age 21 in males who did not receive adequate vaccination previously. This new guidance emphasizes the safety and efficacy in adults through age 45 years and aligns the recommendations for males and females.
In Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends HPV vaccination for females aged 9 to 45 years and in males aged 9 to 26 years.
It is important to note that it is still most beneficial to complete the HPV vaccine series at age 11 to 12 years, given the more robust immune response for those aged younger than 15 years. Further, the goal is for persons to receive vaccination before exposure to HPV infection. Thus, this new recommendation should not be taken as a reason to delay immunization beyond the preteen years. Also, insurance coverage for the vaccine is likely to lag behind the new CDC recommendation for persons aged 27 to 45 years.