(HealthDay News) — The American Cancer Society has updated guidelines on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, emphasizing that vaccination should be routinely offered at age 9 to 12 years; the updated recommendations were published online July 8 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Debbie Saslow, Ph.D., from The American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues present an adaptation of the current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for HPV vaccination.

To achieve higher on-time vaccination rates, which will lead to increased numbers of cancers prevented, the authors recommend routine HPV vaccination between ages 9 and 12 years. Health care providers should start offering the HPV vaccine series at age 9 or 10 years. For all persons through age 26 years who are not adequately vaccinated, catch-up HPV vaccination is recommended. Individuals aged 22 to 26 years who have not been previously vaccinated or who have not completed the series should be informed that vaccination at older ages is less effective for lowering cancer risk. For adults older than 26 years, catch-up HPV vaccination is not recommended. The American Cancer Society does not endorse recommendations for shared decision-making for some adults aged 27 to 45 years who are not adequately vaccinated.

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“We’re seeing evidence that starting vaccination at age 9 or 10 has potential benefits that are expected to lead to higher vaccination rates, resulting in increased numbers of cancers prevented compared to starting at ages 11 and 12,” Saslow said in a statement.

The American Cancer Society received an independent educational grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme.

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