FDA Approves HPV Vaccine for Everyone Up to Age 45

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Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

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          The HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer and other malignancies, is now approved for men and women from 27 to 45-years-old according to the Food and Drug Administration. The vaccine is Gardasil 9, and had been previously approved for minors and people up to age 26. It works against the human papillomavirus, HPV, which can also cause genital warts and cancers of the vulva, anus, penis and parts of the throat. The virus has many strains. It is sexually transmitted, and most adults encounter at least one strain at some point in their lives. The vaccine protects against nine strains, including those most likely to cause cancers and genital warts.

            Doctors like Kevin Ault, a gynecologist with The University of Kansas Health System, say this is great news for a lot of people. He says the vaccine is saving lives and now has the potential to save even more. The HPV virus causes 43,000 new cancer cases each year. “Of those 43,000, we could prevent 90 percent of them if everyone was vaccinated,” said Ault. He’s been advocating for many years that adolescents of both sexes should get the vaccine…one of the few available that can actually prevent one type of cancer. In the video, Dr. Ault says this new guideline opens the door to the vaccine for many adults who were previously thought to be too old for it. He also explains what’s prompted the change, and why it’s such a big deal. He answers the question of whether an adult who has never had the vaccine should consider getting one now. The video also contains shots of vials of the HPV vaccine.