The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has voted to recommend routine vaccinations for girls ages 11 and 12 against human papillomavirus.
At least 80 percent of women will have been infected with HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer, by the time they are 50, according to the Atlanta-based CDC.
For the vaccine, Gardasil, to be effective, it must be given to an individual before she has been exposed to the virus. The CDC committee recommended that girls as young as 9 could get the vaccine at the discretion of their parents and health-care providers.
In addition, the panel voted to include the drug in the federal Vaccines for Children program, which pays for vaccine programs for poor children.
A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week