By: Jim Edwards
01 November 2010
The CDC’s pending decision over whether to recommend vaccinating boys against human papillomavirus will be interesting in terms of what it says about sexism in medicine: The issue is complicated because the vaccine is already recommended for girls. As more girls become immune to HPV, herd immunity kicks in and the additional benefit of vaccinating boys becomes more marginal. One possible outcome is for the CDC to say, in effect, “Thanks for taking all those shots, girls! Now we don’t need to do the same to boys.”
That might be medically “correct,” but it certainly wouldn’t be fair, especially as girls could have received the identical benefit had all boys been vaccinated first.