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Kids and young teens can now be protected against HPV with just two doses of vaccine instead of three—incentive to get vaccinated early!

On October 12, 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a 2-dose schedule for Merck’s Gardasil-9® HPV vaccine for males and females ages 9-14. Gardasil® 9® covers protects against 9 types of HPV types, including “high-risk” types that cause approximately cervical cancer and a majority of vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers, as well as “low-risk” types that cause genital warts.

The new schedule calls for the second dose of the vaccine to be given 6-12 months following the first. The 3-dose schedule originally licensed with the vaccine may still be used, too; this regimen involves three doses administered over six months. Studies show the antibody response generated with the 2-dose regimen is not inferior to that observed with three doses.

Following the FDA decision, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance and now routinely recommends the 2-dose regimen for all 11 and 12 year olds. CDC said reducing the number of shots and clinic visits makes it more convenient for parents to protect their children.