Vaccinating just half the population against human papilloma virus (HPV) only solves half the problem.
Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that girls and young women be vaccinated against the disease that can lead to cervical cancer, the treatment's effectiveness with regard to the male population is beginning to come into the limelight. In fact, the CDC is now considering recommending the shot for boys as well, according to Health Day.
From Health Day:
A debate that's been simmering over whether males also should be vaccinated for human papillomavirus, or HPV, could come to a head in October at a meeting of a key advisory committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.
Previous studies have shown that the HPV vaccine could even have a more powerful effect than simply immunizing males against the disease and protecting women. According to Science Daily, one study showed that giving the vaccine to men could prevent as many as 90 percent of genital warts cases.
A study published in March also said that almost half of the male population of the US could be infected with HPV.
The issue of immunizing girls to the virus has returned to the limelight recently amidst the GOP Presidential debates. Notably, Texas Governor Rick Perry's 2007 mandate to require young girls to be vaccinated against the disease has drawn criticism from fellow conservatives.
According to Everyday Health, the measure was overridden in 2008.
While the safety of the HPV vaccine is generally established and still remains recommended by the government health agency, it has been shown in some studies to be associated with anaphylaxis, blood clots and fainting, and linked with some deaths.