HPV vaccination is extended to boys | Scotland

Boys should be given HPV vaccine for protection against cancer virus

Ministers announced the decision after a report by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended extending immunisation to boys of the same age. "While we now offer it to girls in Ireland to protect them against cervical cancer, the next step must be to give it to boys so that they are also protected from cancers caused by HPV infection".

A jab which guards mainly against cervical cancer is likely to be given to boys after an influential Government committee called for a "gender neutral" vaccination policy.

In July previous year, campaigners reacted angrily when an interim report by the committee said it could not recommend extension.

In its report, the JCVI said it was "highly likely" that a gender neutral programme would be more cost effective than offering none at all.

Now in Ireland, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) are assessing whether the vaccine should be made available to boys as part of the national vaccination programme.

It means that Scotland now looks certain to become the first part of the United Kingdom to vaccinate boys against HPV, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland under pressure to follow suit.

Mr FitzPatrick said: "I am pleased to announce that the Scottish Government will implement a HPV vaccination programme for adolescent boys in Scotland".

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This was extended to men who have sex with men up to the age of 45 previous year to provide protection against throat cancer and other cancers the viruses can cause.

Uptake in girls also affected the cost-effectiveness, with a lower uptake in girls making vaccination of boys more cost-effective.

Past year the injections were extended to men who have sex with men and are aged under 45, to provide protection against throat cancer and other cancers the viruses can cause.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of Global Positioning System, said: "The HPV vaccine has proven extremely effective in protecting women against cervical cancer and we now have strong evidence to demonstrate that the vaccine also provides protection against a number of other serious cancers which affect both men and women, including head and neck cancer and anal cancer".

Age ranges of those to be vaccinated are still under consideration. "We hope parents will take up this important opportunity to get their sons and daughters vaccinated as soon as it is available to them".

"We are carefully considering their advice and will update on a decision shortly".

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