Immunization Schedule, Children (cont.)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
HPV infection is considered to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (sexually transmitted disease, STD) in the U.S. It is estimated that at least 75% of the reproductive-age population has been infected with sexually transmitted HPV at some point in life. It is believed that over 6 million people become infected with HPV every year in the U.S., and approximately 50% of those infected are between the ages of 15 and 25.
Although HPV infection may not cause symptoms, it is known that certain types of HPVs cause precancerous changes in the uterine cervix as well as cervical cancer. HPVs also cause genital warts.
- The human papillomavirus vaccine is recommended in a three-dose schedule with the second and third doses administered two and six months after the first dose. Routine vaccination with HPV is recommended for females 11-12 years of age; the vaccination series can be started in females as young as 9; and a catch-up vaccination is recommended for females 13-26 years of age who have not been vaccinated previously or who have not completed the full vaccine series.
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