The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an updated childhood immunization schedule this week especially for older children and teenagers. The new schedule moves the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination a few years earlier and gives all older teens the option to be vaccinated for meningitis.
According to the schedule, the HPV vaccine is now recommended for girls and boys starting when they are 11 years old. The schedule also notes that a child with a history of sexual abuse or assault may start receiving the HPV vaccine when they are 9 years old.
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection and can sometimes be transmitted without sexual contact, according to a study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association. The HPV vaccine can protect a child from the risk of cervical and other cancers from an infection.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau reports that one 26 percent of of victims who were sexually abused were in the age group of 12 to 14 years old while 33 percent of victims were younger than 9 years old.
Another change to the schedule includes a recommended vaccination against meningococcal B for children 10 years old and older especially those who are high risk. A routine meningitis B vaccine can prevent approximately 15 to 29 cases and two to five deaths each year, according to a study published by the CDC last year.