Boys to receive HPV jab from September

Girls have been offered the vaccine since 2008

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Boys in the UK aged 12 and 13 will be given the HPV jab from September in a bid to wipe out cervical cancer, the government has announced.

Until now, only girls have been given the vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer as well as penile cancer, anal and genital cancers and some cancers of the head and neck.

But when the next academic year begins, boys in year eight will be given the jab too with parental consent.

They will need two doses of the jab in order to be fully protected, with a follow-up dose administered six months to two years after the first.

Giving boys the jab will protect girls from the human papilloma virus, which is passed on through sexual contact.

It causes 99 per cent of cervical cancers, 90 per cent of anal, around 70 per cent of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60 per cent of penile cancers.

The University of Warwick estimates that the jab will prevent 64,138 cervical cancers and 49,649 non-cervical cancers in the UK by 2058.

Year eight girls have been offered the vaccine free in school since 2008.

Public Health England said the programme meant infections from some strains of HPV in 16 to 21-year-olds have fallen by 86 per cent.

Public health minister Seema Kennedy said: "The success of the HPV vaccine programme for girls is clear and by extending it to boys we will go a step further to help us prevent more cases of HPV-related cancer every year.

"Through our world-leading vaccination programme, we have already saved millions of lives and prevented countless cases of terrible diseases.

"Experts predict that we could be on our way toward eliminating cervical cancer for good."

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