CDC Adds Gardasil 9 to Routine Vaccination List

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee on immunization practices today approved including Merck's Gardasil 9 vaccine in a list of recommended vaccinations for children and young adults. The vaccine got US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in December, 2014. The vaccine is an improvement on the older version of Gardasil in that it offers protection against 5 more types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) than the original product.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee on immunization practices today approved including Merck’s Gardasil 9 vaccine in a list of recommended vaccinations for children and young adults.

The vaccine got US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in December, 2014. The vaccine is an improvement on the older version of Gardasil in that it offers protection against 5 more types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) than the original product.

In addition to preventing cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18 (those prevented by the older version of Gardasil), Gardasil 9 also prevents those cancers caused by HPV strains 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.

Those 5 HPV strains are responsible for about 20% of cervical cancers, the FDA said in announcing the approval. The new vaccine, like original Gardasil, also protects against genital warts caused by HPV 6 and HPV 11.

The CDC recommends that vaccination should be routine for girls and boys ages 11 and 12. For those who are older and either have not been vaccinated or have not gotten the full series of 3 shots, it recommends vaccination with Gardasil 9 for girls and young women ages 13 to 26. Boys and young men ages 13 to 21 should also get the vaccine, the CDC said.

The committee has not yet ruled on whether everyone who got the less effective earlier vaccine should also get Gardasil-9.