Boys aged between 12 and 13 in England will be given a vaccine to protect them against HPV-related cancers, Public Health Minister Steve Brine has announced today. The decision follows new scientific evidence and advice from an independent panel of experts.
In response, Professor Helen Bedford, Immunisation Expert for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:
“Infection with HPV can lead to cancer in males as well as in females, so it is welcome news that the Government has announced the extension of the HPV vaccine programme to include teenage boys in England. We are already seeing the benefits of the HPV vaccine programme among girls with dramatic reductions in HPV infections that can lead to cancer. Boys have gained some protection from this vaccine programme through community immunity.
"The extension of the programme is an important and welcome development that will ensure that all boys are afforded protection against HPV infections that can lead to cancers of the mouth and throat, penis and anus.“
This move comes a week after Welsh and Scottish Government confirmed they will give the HPV vaccine to teenage boys in Wales and Scotland.