Preteens need only 2 HPV shots, not 3, panel says

SHARE Preteens need only 2 HPV shots, not 3, panel says
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Gardasil 9 human papillomavirus vaccine. | Merck via AP

A government panel says preteens only need two doses of the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, instead of three — a move some hope will result in more kids getting the shots.

Fewer than one-third of 13-year-old U.S. boys and girls have gotten three doses of the vaccine that protects against HPV, the human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted.

Recent studies have shown two doses of the leading HPV vaccine — Gardasil 9 — are enough and can be spaced a year apart.

Experts say busy parents sometimes struggle to get their kids to the doctor three times within six months to get all the shots. Also, some parents have balked at getting vaccinations for their children for a virus that’s spread through sex, even though health experts say providing the shots early offers the best chance for protecting against HPV later in life.

HPV can cause cervical cancer, certain other cancers and genital warts.

The panel made the recommendation Wednesday at a meeting in Atlanta.

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