After more than six months of thoroughly reviewing data on 2-dose HPV vaccination schedules, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), voted to approve a recommendation that reduces the number of HPV vaccine doses from three to two for preteens ages 11 to 12 years. The recommendation highlights several key points:
- The first HPV vaccine dose is routinely recommended at 11-12 years old. The second dose of the vaccine should be administered 6 to 12 months after the first dose.
- Teens and young adults who start the series at ages 15 through 26 years will continue to need three doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancer-causing HPV infections.
- Adolescents aged 9 through 14 years who have already received two doses of HPV vaccine less than 6 months apart, will require a third dose.
- Three doses are recommended for people with weakened immune systems aged 9-26 years.
This new guidance provides an opportunity to streamline office visits (adolescents are also getting vaccines to protect against whooping cough and meningitis at ages 11-12) and achieve protection against HPV cancers with two visits instead of three.
The passage of this new recommendation is an important reminder that vaccines in use in the U.S. are being monitored year-round, and that related policies are evaluated and revised as necessary based on data and GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) to ensure optimal use of vaccines. CDC will be communicating to parents, healthcare professionals, and insurers to provide guidance and education on the change in recommendation. Final recommendations will be outlined in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, join CDC’s “Current Issues in Immunization Webinar” on October 26 at 12pm ET to learn more about the 2016 update on recommendations for HPV vaccination. Registration required.