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Why does my son need the HPV vaccine?

Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

Answer

Why does my son need the HPV vaccine?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects boys against the HPV infections that can cause cancers of the anus, penis, and mouth/throat in men. Plus, when boys are vaccinated, they are less likely to spread HPV to their current and future partners.

HPV is very common: nearly one in four Americans are infected. By getting HPV vaccine at the recommended age—between 9 and 12 years old—boys and girls get the best protection against HPV cancers. 

Take advantage of any doctor's visitcheckups, sick visits, physicals for sports or school activities—to get your child protected from HPV cancers. Even if the doctor doesn't mention HPV vaccine, be sure to ask about getting it for your child at that appointment.

If your son or daughter is older than 12: if your teen or young adult has not started or finished the series of HPV vaccine shots, it's not too late! Make an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible to complete the series.

Protecting your son now gives him the best shot at preventing these cancers in his future!

Additional Information & Resources:


Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP serves as the medical editor of HealthyChildren.org and provides oversight and direction for the site in conjunction with the staff editor. Dr. Shu is a practicing pediatrician at Children's Medical Group in Atlanta, Georgia, and she is also a mom. She earned her medical degree at the Medical College of Virginia in ​Richmond and specialized in pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Her experience includes working in private practice, as well as working in an academic medical center. She served as director of the normal newborn nursery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. Dr. Shu is also co-author of Food Fights and Heading Home with Your Newborn published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Last Updated
9/23/2019
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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