CDC: Pre-teens only need 2 HPV shots, not 3

The CDC updated its guidance on the human papillomavirus vaccine Wednesday. Now, children under the age of 15 only need two doses of the vaccine to effectively protect themselves from HPV, reports The Washington Post.

While the CDC previously recommended a three-shot regimen for the vaccine, past studies prove two doses remain just as effective, according to the report.

On Wednesday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — a group of medical and public health experts responsible for recommending appropriate vaccine practices in the U.S. — voted to lower the dosage requirements for children. CDC Director Tom Friedan, MD, MPH, approved the panel's recommendation shortly after.

The new vaccine schedule encourages parents to get their children vaccinated with the first dose around age 11 or 12, with the second dose occurring six to 12 months later. Adolescents who begin the vaccination process after age 15 should still receive three doses.

"By reducing the number of doses needed to complete HPV vaccination, it should lead to an increase in the percentage of eligible boys and girls who get vaccinated," said Douglas Lowy, MD, acting director of the National Cancer Institute. 

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