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Question

Why does my son need the HPV vaccine?

Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

Answer

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—11 or 12 years old—boys and girls get the best protection against HPV cancers. Protecting your son now gives him the best shot at preventing these cancers in his future.

Take advantage of any doctor's visit—checkups, sick visits, physicals for sports or school—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.

​Additional Information & Resources:


Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

​Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, is a practicing pediatrician, author, and mom in Atlanta. Dr. Shu is co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn and Food Fights. A frequent guest on national and local television, radio, and web-based programs, she is medical editor-in-chief of HealthyChildren.org, is the Living Well health expert for CNN.com, contributes medical information to BabyCenter and WebMD.com, and serves on the Parents magazine advisory board. ​

Last Updated
9/24/2018
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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