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Boys to get HPV vaccine

Thursday July 19th, 2018

Doctors and campaigners have welcomed proposals to extend the HPV vaccine to boys.

The proposal comes as the HPV has been linked to a range of sexually transmitted cancers that can affect men.

It was introduced for girls entering adolescence because of the strong link between the virus and cervical cancer.

The proposal has come from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations. Scotland and Wales have promised to implement the recommendations while the NHS in England says it is considering them.

The committee has said the extension is not currently cost effective – but that it could become so through a slight change in the assumptions around cost effectiveness. They also argue that the programme should be “gender neutral.”

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, chair of the British Medical Association board of science, said it was “an important moment for public health.”

She said: “Current measures such as offering vaccinations at sexual health clinics to men who have sex with men aged 16 to 45 are not effective in combatting the risks this disease poses as they're often already sexually active and it's too late to prevent.”

Professor Helen Bedford, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the latest recommendations were “progress”.

Emma Greenwood, from Cancer Research UK, said: “If the Government agrees to roll this out, it will help to reduce the risk of HPV infection across the whole population. HPV causes around 2,500 cases of cancer in males every year in the UK.”

Tags: Cancer | Child Health | Flu & Viruses | Men's Health | UK News

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