In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the HPV-4 vaccine for adolescent girls between 11 and 13 years of age. In 2010, the CDC extended its recommendation to include adolescent boys. In 2016, an HPV vaccine containing five additional serotypes (HPV9) was recommended to replace HPV4, again for routine use in adolescents. Both HPV4 and HPV9 were licensed up to 26 years of age.

Would it have been of value to have a catch-up recommendation for those who were older than 13 years of age at the time of licensure and recommendation? This question is addressed in a recent study performed by researchers in Sweden, Italy and France (Elfström KM, Lazzarato F, Franscheschi S, et al. Human Papillomavirus Vaccination of Boys and Extended Catch-Up Vaccination: Effects on the Resilience of Programs. J Infect Dis. 2016 Jan 15;213(2):199-205).

Using an HPV transmission model, the authors compared a one-time HPV9 catch-up dose for 22- to 26-year-old women with or without previous vaccination and a one-time catch-up vaccination of males 13 to 26 years of age. Given a 12 percent prevalence of HPV oncogenic serotypes 16 and 18 before the HPV vaccination era, the authors found that extended catch-up vaccination for males and females would reduce HPV prevalence by 49.4 percent and 55.6 percent, respectively. Further, they estimated that the reduced prevalence due to catch-up vaccination would be observed for about 30 years.

The authors concluded that “vaccination strategies based on catch-up vaccination of females and males are effective for accelerating HPV prevalence reduction.”

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