Back in 2006, the The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices -- who advises the federal government on immunization policies, advised that the HPV vaccine Gardasil be given to all 11, 12-year-old girls. But now, the same committee is not pushing for the same vaccine to be given to boys. The reason is cost effectiveness, claims the commitee.
The vaccine has only been shown to prevent genital warts in boys, reports the Washington Post. At the rate of $500 per-person for a three-shot regimen solely to protect against genital warts (it does not take into consideration the spread of strains that cause cervical cancer in women), the costs outweighed the benefit.
"Genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the
United States; an estimated 6.2 million persons are newly infected
every year. Although the majority of infections cause no clinical
symptoms and are self-limited, persistent infection with oncogenic
types can cause cervical cancer in women....during 2007, an estimated 11,100 new cases will be diagnosed and
approximately 3,700 women will die from cervical cancer." -- from the committee's report to the CDC in 2007.
However, the same committee did recommend including "Gardasil for boys ages 9 to 18 in the Vaccines for Children
program, which serves uninsured children and those eligible for
Medicaid," reports the Post.
For more on HPV and to read a personal account of my struggles with the virus, read Living with HPV