While there’s no specific date for when booster shots are recommended, it’s “highly likely” that kids up to age 19 years will receive booster shots before entering kindergarten and before the start of middle school, said Nick Hanna, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services. After that, they should get boosters every two years, according to the CDC.
The federal health agency originally offered booster vaccines for babies born between 2006 and 2009. But it no longer does. It expects to resume the program in 2015 and focus exclusively on children born between 2010 and 2012. The vaccine is sometimes referred to as the “MDVax” vaccine.
The booster shots cover all three strains of the human papillomavirus. Those strains can cause cervical cancer, cervical inflammatory disease, anal and vaginal warts and genital warts. The vaccine does not protect against HPV-related cancers in males.
Generally, the shots are more effective at protecting against strains 13 and 16, which are considered the most dangerous, compared with those 30 and 31, which are considered less so. The vaccine can make people feel mildly sore, but it rarely causes serious side effects, according to the CDC.
Multiple doses of vaccine aren’t generally advised, but the vaccine should be continued for one year after immunization.