After debating the issue, an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has voted to recommend that boys ages 11-21 receive the vaccine series that immunizes against human papillomavirus, or HPV.

The committee was almost unanimous in its vote that 11- and 12-year-old boys be given the vaccine, and divided over ages 13-21.  All ages eventually passed and are now recommended, reports.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. At least half of sexually active people will get it at some point in their lives.

In addition to protecting girls from cervical cancer, the vaccine will help boys avoid cancers of the penis and rectum, as well as head and neck cancers that are associated with HPV.