HPV Vaccine To Be Offered To Boys From September 2019
It's believed that 5 per cent of all cancers are liked to the HPV virus, including cervical, penile, anal and genital cancers, which this vaccination can protect against. The virus has also been linked to some forms of head and neck cancers.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, killing around 850 people every year.
:loudspeaker: NEWS: From September 2019, boys in school year 8 will be offered the free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for the first time. Estimates suggest that this could prevent over 64,000 cervical cancers and nearly 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058. https://t.co/jNx7jjQK0z pic.twitter.com/TR1skZDXhz
- Public Health England (@PHE_uk) July 9, 2019
Figures suggest that offering boys the vaccination could prevent over 64,000 cervical cancers and nearly 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058, according to the University of Warwick.
Teenage girls have been offered the HPV vaccination for free since 2008, but now teenage boys in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will have the option to have the jab too.
Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, Dr Mary Ramsay, said: "This universal programme offers us the opportunity to make HPV-related diseases a thing of the past and build on the success of the girls' programme.
"Offering the vaccine to boys will not only protect them but will also prevent more cases of HPV-related cancers in girls and reduce the overall burden of these cancers in both men and women in the future.
"I encourage all parents of eligible boys and girls to make sure they take up the offer for this potentially life-saving vaccine. It's important not to delay vaccination, as the vaccine may be less effective as adolescents get older."
A total of 10 million dose of the HPV vaccine have been given to young women, meaning 80 per of those age 15 to 24 have received it.
It's believed that over 80 per cent of women aged 15 to 24 have received the HPV vaccine so far, as the NHS has administered 10 million doses of it.
Since the introduction of the vaccine, some cases of HPV (HPV 16/18) have reduced by 86 per cent in England.
And a study in Scotland found that the vaccine has reduced pre-cancerous cervical disease in women by up to 71 per cent.
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.
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.
"Programmes like this are at the heart of our work to help people live longer, healthier lives through the NHS Long Term Plan and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to take up this potentially life-saving vaccine."
Parents of children aged 12 to 13 should look out for more information from their children's schools about when the vaccine is being offered.
And if they miss out on the vaccination, parents should talk to the school nurse or immunisation team to ensure they get the jab at a later date.
National Cancer Director at NHS England Cally Palmer said: "By extending the HPV vaccine to boys, the NHS is taking an important step forward in our fight to prevent cancer - more people will be better protected, and the vaccine could help to eliminate cervical cancer in this country.
"Cancer survival is now at an all-time high, and the NHS Long Term Plan will save even more lives through enhanced screening and early diagnosis programmes to catch cancers sooner when they can be treated best."
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