HPV vaccine to be extended to boys, JCVI recommends

HPVUK Government advisers have recommended extending funding for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to boys.

The HPV vaccine is currently offered to girls aged 12 to 13, this new recommendation means 400,000 boys will also benefit from the vaccine every year.

The Government has said it will consider the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunsation’s (JCVI’s) advice.

‘The JCVI’s advice that boys should be vaccinated is very welcome news for boys and their parents,’ HPV Action campaign director, Peter Baker, said.

‘It will also benefit those girls who, for whatever reason, have not been vaccinated against HPV.

‘We have waited a very long time for this announcement and it is now imperative that ministers accept the JCVI’s advice without delay so that no more boys left at risk.

‘HPV Action believes it is entirely realistic for the vaccination of boys to begin by September 2019 at the latest.’

HPV vaccine

Numerous bodies in the dental profession have been campaigning for the HPV vaccine to be extended to include boys.

Previously the JCVI rejected a HPV vaccine extension on the basis that is was not cost effective.

Earlier this year dental associations around the profession jointly wrote to the Government asking for the vaccine, which has been linked to 5% of all cancers worldwide, to be extended.

‘Every year 400,000 boys have been left unprotected from the life-threatening conditions fuelled by HPV,’ BDA chair, Mick Armstrong, said.

‘Finally, all our children can benefit from a universal vaccination programme.

‘Oral cancer claims more lives than car accidents, and men are twice as likely as women to develop it.

‘Dentists are often the first to see the tell-tale signs, and have fought to see prevention put into practice.

‘Too many children have missed out as Government advisers have dragged their feet on extending the programme.

‘Further delay will only cost lives.

‘Health professionals expect swift rollout of a national programme.’

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