ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD WOMEN IN THEIR TWENTIES AND OLDER RECEIVE THE HPV VACCINE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Vaccination against human papilloma virus, implicated in most cases of cervical cancer as well as many cases of oral cancer, is recommended for girls in the 9 to 11 or so window, ideally before sexual activity begins. But many women in their twenties and beyond question whether they, too, wouldn’t benefit from vaccination. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says they probably should give the vaccine a miss.
MILLER: Right now our current thinking is that this just is not cost effective. I think our efforts should really concentrate on our adolescent and young women who are at particularly high risk. For women who are above the age of thirty, it makes sense to follow our screening guidelines using Pap smear and HPV DNA if needed, as opposed to thinking about vaccination, which comes at a high cost and not necessarily that cost effective in older women. :26
Women who have been infected with HPV most often clear the infection on their own. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.