UK offers HPV vaccines to boys, aims to stop 100,000 cancer cases

UK offers HPV vaccines to boys, aims to stop 100,000 cancer cases

UK offers HPV vaccines to boys, aims to stop 100,000 cancer cases

Now, the United Kingdom will administer the vaccine to boys also, which is expected to prevent thousands of cancer cases every year.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard echoed the BMA's sentiment: 'There is very strong evidence that shows the HPV vaccine can protect people from a virus that can trigger a wide range of cancers that affect both men and women, so it is vital that as many eligible boys and girls as possible get inoculated.

The additional injections will lead to the prevention of more than 64,000 cervical cancers and almost 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058. In the United States, high-risk HPV infections cause about 3% of all cancers in women and 2% in men, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The jab protects against human papillomavirus, which causes many throat cancer, and anal cancers.

- HPV is thought to be responsible for more than 90 per cent of cervical cancers, as well as 90 per cent of anal, about 70 per cent of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60 per cent of penile cancers.

They will need two doses of the jab in order to be fully protected, with a follow-up dose administered six months to two years after the first.

"This is a life saving vaccine and I would encourage all eligible boys and girls to take up the NHS offer of the free vaccine".

"It's important not to delay vaccination, as the vaccine may be less effective as adolescents get older".

Vaccination against human papilloma virus for boys between 12 and 13 years of age can prevent them from several cancers over the next 40 years, according to health officials in the UK.

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Since 2008, ten million doses of HPV vaccine have been given to young women in this country meaning over 80 per cent of women aged 15-24 have received the vaccine.

Figures out in December showed 83.8% of girls completed the two-dose HPV vaccination course in 2017/18, compared with 83.1% in 2016/17 and 85.1% in 2015/16. Similarly, diagnoses of genital warts have declined by 90% in 15-17-year-old girls and 70% in 15-17-year-old boys.

There will not be a catch-up programme for boys aged between 13 to 18, unlike the one undertaken for girls when the initiative was first introduced.

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. This would be 50 years after the introduction of the HPV vaccination programme, when people who were vaccinated as teenagers have reached the age groups that they would typically be affected by HPV-related cancers.

Professor Beate Kampmann, director of the vaccine centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "This decision is a triumph for gender equality in cancer prevention".

Mandy Parker, from Dartford, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015 aged 44, wishes the vaccine was offered when she was a girl.

BDA chairman Mick Armstrong said: "A universal HPV programme will offer protection to all children from life-changing conditions like throat cancer".

By vaccinating boys, experts say spreading of the disease - linked with the cancer - will dramatically reduce.

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