Experts now recommend HPV vaccine for boys

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SALT LAKE CITY — The controversial human papilloma virus vaccine given to young girls to prevent cervical cancer is now being recommended for young boys.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and The Centers for Disease Control recommends the vaccine for boys to help prevent the sexually transmitted virus. Experts say the vaccine can create HPV antibodies before children reach sexual maturity. They recommend boys start getting the vaccine by the age of 9.

"If you wait until you think they're sexually active, you may miss the opportunity to protect them," said Dr. Michael Brady of Nationwide Children's Hospital.

If you wait until you think they're sexually active, you may miss the opportunity to protect them.

–Michael Brady

Experts are also recommending a Meningitis booster shot for 16 year olds and college students through age 21. Before, children would receive the booster shot as young as 11 years old. But over time, the vaccine weakened, leaving teens vulnerable to the potentially deadly bacteria infection.

Among the HPV vaccine and Meningitis booster, experts are suggesting a T-DAP booster shot for women who are at least 20 weeks pregnant. Nationwide outbreaks of pertussis — whooping cough — led to several newborn deaths in recent years.

The booster shot will boost the body's defense against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, while also passing along antibodies to the fetus before birth. Doctors recommend anyone who cares for newborns should also receive the vaccine.

Experts, however, recommend consulting with your physician before making any medical decisions.

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