HPV jab for boys raises hope of eradicating cervical cancer

Henrietta Strickland
July 9, 2019

Announcing the extension of a vaccination programme to cover boys as well as girls, experts at Public Health England (PHE) said the immunisation plan would prevent around 64,000 cervical cancers and almost 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058.

One user replied to his tweet by saying 'just as importantly, it protects the boys from penile, anal, and oral cancers, ' whilst another commented 'great vaccination program but bad tweet!

"I was unlucky to have caught the HPV virus at an early age but it is nothing to do with how many sexual partners you have as it only takes one person to become infected".

In total, the HPV vaccine program could prevent over 100,000 cases of cancer by 2058, officials said. "Now, we have the tools for eradicating most of the HPV-related cancers for women and men", said Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Vaccine Center, Prof.

High-risk HPV infections are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.

'Following the success of the vaccination programme for girls, it is only right that boys are now afforded the same protection'. All the boys in the country will be given vaccinations after the summer.

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.

In Scotland, the first dose could be given between the ages of 11 and 13. It protects boys (and girls) from other cancers caused by HPV too.

The HPV jab now used by the NHS is Gardasil, which protects against HPV for at least 10 years and possibly a lifetime.

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

Parents with children aged between 12 and 13 should look out for information from schools.

The vaccinations will be given to the young boys in secondary schools from the first day of the new school term.

As a result of health policy is devolved within the United Kingdom, timings, and arrangements will differ slightly throughout the different nations.

Public Health England (PHE) have officially launched the universal HPV vaccine programme, gaining the support of the BMA and RCGP.

Public Health England said the programme meant infections from some strains of HPV in 16 to 21-year-olds have fallen by 86 per cent.

PHE is now estimating prevention of 85, 000 cancers in women, including 64,000 cervical cancer cases, and 29,000 cancers in men by 2058 with the help of this vaccination program.

"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".

"The latter is now increasing in incidence, but this trend will be turned around as the vaccination programme takes effect in the future".

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.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, might hide in the crevices of the tonsils until they cause head and neck cancer, even in people who seem otherwise healthy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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