The COVID-19 vaccine has no trouble attracting suitors.
But there is another older model that has been largely ignored by young men in America: the HPV vaccine.
Using data from the 2010-2018 National Health Surveys, researchers at Michigan Medicine found that only 16% of men aged 18 to 21 had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine at any age. In comparison, 42% of women in the same age group had received at least one injection of the vaccine.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends two doses of the vaccine at age 11 or 12, but Americans may still benefit from the HPV vaccine if they receive it later, as long as they receive three at 26 years.
In the UM study, however – even among those who were vaccinated after reaching the age of 18 – less than a third of the men received all three doses of the vaccine, and about half of the women did. .
“Young people between the ages of 18 and 21 are at this age when they are making health care decisions for themselves for the first time,” says Michelle M. Chen, MD, lecturer in the Department of Otorhinolysis. -Laryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the first author of the study. “They are going through a significant transition period, but young adult men in particular, who are less likely to have a primary care physician, often do not receive health education on things like cancer prevention vaccines.”
The HPV vaccine was designed to prevent reproductive warts and cancers caused by the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. The FDA approved the vaccine for women in 2006 and extended it to men in 2009.
Back then, preventing cervical cancer was the main focus, so girls and women were more likely to hear about it from their pediatricians or OBGYNs. Yet oropharyngeal cancer, which occurs in the throat, tonsils and the back of the tongue, has now overtaken cervical cancer as the main cancer caused by HPV – and 80% of people diagnosed are men.
“I don’t think a lot of people, both providers and patients, are aware that this vaccine is actually a cancer prevention vaccine for both men and women,” Chen says. “But oropharyngeal cancer associated with HPV can impact anyone – and there is no good screening, which makes vaccination even more important.”
Chen believes a two-pronged approach is needed to increase the HPV vaccination rate for men, with renewed pressure from pediatricians to target children and awareness of university health services and fraternity houses for the population. young adults who may have missed out on the vaccine. when they were younger. Pharmacists as well as emergency and emergency room care providers could also be useful allies.
Source of the story:
Material provided by Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan. Original written by Mary Clare Fischer. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.