Susie Silver thought it was in her son's best interest to have him vaccinated against the human papilloma virus. "Making sure that he's safe, making sure that the women that he's with in the future are safe," she said.
Now a government panel is recommending all 11 and 12 year old boys receive the vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted virus. The shots are already recommended for girls and young women because HPV increases the risk of cervical cancer.
"The HPV can be transmitted from girls to boys and from boys to girls very easily -- has led to the development of the new recommendation that the boys also receive the vaccination," said Dr. Wesley Boodish with Milburn Pediatrics.
HPV is a very common infection. Most people don't know they have it because the virus rarely causes symptoms. But the virus can be deadly. It's responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer. There is growing evidence HPV can boost the risk of mouth, throat and anal cancer. And new research shows it may even increase a woman's chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
The Centers for Disease Control says the key is to get vaccinated before boys and girls become sexually active. Susie Silver says, for her, the decision was easy. "Why would we want them to get diseases that can be eradicated," she said.
"Obviously she just wants to do what's best for me and I think it was the right decision," said Bennett Silver, 13.
The CDC is expected to approve the panel's recommendation. Then insurance would pay for boy's to get vaccinated too.
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