Preteens need only 2 HPV shots not 3, panel says

NEW YORK — A government panel says preteens only need two doses of the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, instead of three — a move some hope will result in more kids getting the shots.

Fewer than one-third of 13-year-old U.S. boys and girls have gotten three doses of the vaccine. Experts say busy parents sometimes struggle to get their kids to the doctor three times within six months to get all the shots.

Recent studies have shown two doses of the leading HPV vaccine — Gardasil 9 — are enough, and can be spaced a year apart.

Human papillomavirus — or HPV — can cause cervical cancer, certain other cancers and genital warts. It is spread through sex.

The panel made the recommendation Wednesday at a meeting in Atlanta.