Boys will be given HPV jab from September

Grant Boone
July 10, 2019

But from the start of the next school year, boys in Year 8 who are aged 12 and 13 will be given the jab with parental consent.

Addressing the announcement, Prof Stokes-Lampard said: "There is very strong evidence that shows the HPV vaccine can protect people from a virus that can trigger a wide range of cancers that affect both men and women, so it is vital that as many eligible boys and girls as possible get inoculated".

Across the United Kingdom, boys will receive their first dose aged 12 to 13 - year eight for those in England and Wales - with a follow-up dose six months to two years later, also given in school.

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.

PHE estimates that 85,000 cancers will be prevented in women, including 64,000 cases of cervical cancer, and 29,000 in men in the United Kingdom by 2058, thanks to the vaccine.

Since 2008, ten million doses of HPV vaccine have been given to young women in this country meaning over 80 per cent of women aged 15-24 have received the vaccine.

Public Health England found that since the jab was introduced infections of some types of HPV (HPV 16/18) in 16 to 21 year old women have reduced by 86 per cent in England.

Giving 12 and 13-year-old boys the HPV vaccine could help to prevent 29,000 cases of cancer among men over the next 40 years, according to health officials.

They have predicted cervical cancer - the most common type in women under 35 - could be avoided 64,138 times, and other cancers 49,649 times.

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Cases of genital warts have also declined by 90 per cent in girls aged 15 to 17 and 70 per cent in boys of the same age bracket due to the HPV vaccine.

About 5% of all cancers worldwide are linked to the HPV virus, including cervical cancer and some affecting the head and neck. Cervical cancer is now the most common cancer in women under 35, killing around 850 women each year. This follows the recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

The HPV jab now used by the NHS is Gardasil, which protects against HPV for at least 10 years and possibly a lifetime.

"I encourage all parents of eligible boys and girls to make sure they take up the offer for this potentially life-saving vaccine", Dr Ramsay said. This would be 50 years after the introduction of the HPV vaccination programme, when people who were vaccinated as teenagers have reached the age groups that they would typically be affected by HPV-related cancers.

To protect boys even more, and reduce cancers of the anus, penis and head and neck in the future, health experts say they should be offered the HPV vaccine too.

In most cases, HPV goes away on its own. This resulted in the HPV rate for young women dropping from 22% to 1% - and similar trends are being reported in boys.

Girls can continue to have a catch-up jab up to the age of 25. They are also transmitted through various sexual activities as they are usually in hands, fingers, genitals and mouth.

"Following the success of the vaccination programme for girls, it is only right that boys are now afforded the same protection".

All estimates are based on the use of the bivalent (2 strains of HPV) for the first 4 years of the programme and then the quadrivalent (4 strains of HPV) vaccine for the whole period (2008 to 2058).

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