HPV vaccine recommended for boys in U.S.

Gardasil, an HPV shot given to girls to prevent cervical cancer is also recommended for young boys, a U.S. government panel says.

Gardasil, an HPV shot given to girls to prevent cervical cancer is also recommended for young boys, a U.S. government panel says.

Doctors argue that it could protect boys against genital warts and some kinds of cancers. But they also say vaccinating 11- and 12-year old boys could also help prevent the spread of the sexually transmitted virus to girls.

The HPV vaccine has been controversial since it was recommended for girls five years ago. And only about a third of adolescent girls have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made the recommendation Tuesday. Federal health officials usually adopt what the panel says and asks doctors and patients to follow the recommendations.         

Gardasil is approved in Canada as a treatment to prevent genital warts in males aged nine to 26 in Canada.