HPV Vaccines To Be Offered To Boys From September 2019
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Teenage boys going into year eight this year will now be offered the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.
It’s currently estimated that around five per cent of all cancers are linked to the HPV virus, including cervical, penile, anal and genital cancers. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, and is currently responsible for the deaths of around 850 people every year.
It's thought 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.
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.”
Figures show that just over 80% of women aged 15-24 have received the HPV vaccine so far, with some cases of HPV seeing a reduction of 86% in England since its introduction with a study in Scotland revealing the vaccine has reduced pre-cancerous cervical disease in women by as much as 71%.
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.
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."