Are you willing to have your son vaccinated to prevent his girlfriend from getting cervical cancer? The vaccine will prevent him from getting genital warts, and we are told it is safe and effective.

The FDA recently approved GARDISIL vaccinations safe in males as well as females. If the CDC, Center for Disease Control, recommends its routine use in boys, many states will see that as a mandate to force vaccinations of boys from age of 10-25 (and also prompt health insurers to pay for it). A panel of experts at the agency will soon debate the matter.

Boys don't receive any direct benefit from being inoculated. Only 1% of sexually active males actually do develop genital warts. Warts are not life threatening but merely irritating. Since the HPV virus that causes warts can lead to cervical cancer, vaccinations in boys could help prevent cervical cancer in his girl friend.


The vaccine contains HPV16 and HPV18 virus, combined with HPV6 and HPV 11 virus. (HPV6 and HPV11 were added because these viruses are present in genital warts).

Human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV=16) and type 18(HPV18) cause 70% of cervical cancers throughout the world. The vaccine is effective in high-grade lesions, but most lesions found were low grade. Since most HPV infections are transient, these lesions are reversible.


Because the CDC recommended girls get vaccinated against HPV, several states have required them to do so. Overall, only 37% of teenagers have gotten at least one dose. Many never get the full three doses recommended.

Public health authorities already require everyone be vaccinated for other diseases such as rubella or German measles. The fact that there is no evidence of direct benefits to the boy makes a mandate unlikely.


The vaccine has been available since 2006 for teenage girls. Its high price of $390 for the three-dose regime has resulted in very slow sales of the drug.

The FDA also has just approved a rival vaccine, called Cervarix. Like Gardisil, it protects against two HPV strains that are linked to 70% of cervical cancers, but it does not protect against the strain that causes genital warts.


HPV can only be obtained by sexual contact. It doesn't endanger any other child in a school setting or put any of our population at risk. Yet, the CDC has made it a statutory requirement.

Many older sexually active girls have already been exposed to HPV, and the vaccine is then not recommended.


There are 13 vaccinations that your child must get, all to fight infectious diseases transmitted by the respiratory route that are considered highly contagious. This Gardasil vaccination is now #14 and is the sole exception.

Giving girls four viruses to prevent cervical cancers could lead to other disease entities. Why expand that risk to boys? A risk of seizures exists from the vaccinations.

Adding the vaccination for boys, to prevent a 1% chance of getting irritating genital warts, seems like a hard sell.