Oct. , 2009- The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has advised against the routine use of the human papillomavirus vaccine (Gardasil) in boys and men.
However, the panel said individual physicians should have the option to recommend the vaccine to male patients and approved its use in males ages 9 through 26 to reduce risk of genital warts.
Earlier this month, the FDA approved the vaccine for that indication in that age group. Advocates of male vaccination reason that males transmit the virus to females, so immunizing boys and young men may reduce cervical cancer rates.
However, a cost-benefit analysis in the British Medical Journal found that vaccinating boys is unlikely to offer good value for the money.
In mathematical models, vaccinating 12-year-old girls -- assuming 75% get the shots and the vaccine lasts a lifetime -- led to a cost-effectiveness ratio of less than $50,000 per quality adjusted life year gained. Under the same assumptions with the addition of boys, the ratio exceeded $100,000.
In another vote Wednesday, the ACIP panel approved the use of a second HPV vaccine (Cervarix), made by GlaxoSmithKline, for use in females to prevent cervical cancer. Last week, the FDA approved Cervarix for use in girls and women ages 10 to 26.