The US CDC says that an HPV vaccination is recommended up to the age of 26. If you are older than that and not infected yet, why shouldn't it make sense to get vaccinated then?


1 Answer 1


It does make sense for some women and men to get the HPV vaccination at age 27 through 45 years.

In June 2019, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the CDC about vaccinations, made recommendations about HPV vaccinations that included recommendations about “catch-up vaccination” in adults up to age 26 years along with a separate recommendation about HPV vaccination in adults age 27 through 45 years. These recommendations were published in August 2019.


The specific statement about HPV vaccination in adults age 27 through 45 years was as follows:

"Adults aged >26 years. Catch-up HPV vaccination is not recommended for all [bolded to add emphasis] adults aged >26 years. Instead, shared clinical decision-making regarding HPV vaccination is recommended for some [bolded to add emphasis] adults aged 27 through 45 years who are not adequately vaccinated."

This statement can be read as a recommendation AGAINST HPV catch-up vaccination in adults age 27 through 45 years or as a recommendation that is not in favor of HPV catch-up vaccination for all adults in this age group. The following sentence is key---

INSTEAD [bolded to add emphasis], shared decision-making is recommended for some adults age 27 through 45 years.”

Shared decision-making means “discuss this with your doctor and decide what is best for you.”

Shared decision making is also defined as follows:

Shared decision-making in medicine (SDM) is a process in which both the patient and physician contribute to the medical decision-making process. Health care providers explain treatments and alternatives to patients and help them choose the treatment option that best aligns with their preferences as well as their unique cultural and personal beliefs.


In June 2019, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), citing the ACIP recommendations, issued more specific guidance about the question of HPV vaccination in adults age 27 through 45 years to its physicians.


“Today’s decision from ACIP emphasizes what the data has shown--that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective for use in patients ages 27 to 45, and that use of the vaccine in this age group should be the result of shared decision-making between patients and their trusted physicians.”

ACOG went on to advise its physicians as follows:

“The HPV vaccine can halt transmission of the virus and can prevent life-threatening cancers later in life. Today’s decision from ACIP should encourage physicians to discuss the vaccine routinely with their 27- to 45-year-old patients and should help more patients feel confident in their decisions to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.”

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