Boys in England aged between 12 and 13 will be given the HPV vaccine, the public health minister has announced today.
The decision to offer the vaccine to boys was made following advice released by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) last week that extending the vaccine was likely to be beneficial.
The JCVI concluded in its evidence review that a gender-neutral vaccination program was ‘likely to be cost-effective’ and would help not only to prevent cervical cancers in women, but also non-cervical cancers also caused by the HPV virus in men, such as penile and throat cancer.
The Committee said: ‘It is predicted that by vaccinating boys as well as girls, additional cases of HPV attributable cervical and non-cervical cancer will be prevented in women and additional cases of HPV-attributable non-cervical cancer will be prevented in males especially in men who have sex with men.’
RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, commented: ‘It has been frustrating that this effective vaccine has, until now, only been available on the NHS to girls but not boys. We hope parents will take up this important opportunity to get their sons and daughters vaccinated as soon as it is available to them.’
The Welsh Government announced last week that the vaccine would be extended to boys.