Earlier last month, the FDA announced it has approved Gardasil 9, a vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for people between the ages of 27 and 45. Previously, the FDA approved the HPV vaccine for individuals aged 9 through 26 years.
Gardasil 9 protects against nine types of HPV, a virus that is transmitted sexually and through intimate skin-to-skin contact. HPV is a very common virus and many individuals will get it at some point in their lives. While most HPV infections go away on their own, some may stick around and cause genital warts and cancer. This may be cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus, as well as cancer of the back of the throat.
It is recommended that all children aged 11 or 12 receive the HPV vaccine series. The vaccine is most effective at this age, before children are exposed to HPV.
Still, however, individuals up to age 45 years can now get the HPV vaccine. Older individuals can protect themselves against nine types of HPV. And even if one has been exposed to a few types, the vaccine will protect against the other strains they have not been exposed to.
HPV vaccination is cancer prevention. Why not consider protecting yourself?
For more information, check out the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, August 23). Human Papillomavirus: Questions and Answers. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/questions-answers.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, December13). What is HPV? https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/whatishpv.html
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2018, October 9). FDA approves expanded use of Gardasil 9 to include individuals 27 through 45 years old. Retrieved from
Grady, D & Hoffman, J. (2018, October 5). HPV Vaccine Expanded or People Ages 27 to 45. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/05/health/hpv-virus-vaccine-cancer.html