Wigan boys to get HPV jab to prevent thousands of cancer cases

Boys in Year Eight will get free HPV vaccines on the NHS

Figures released by the University of Warwick estimate that by 2058, the vaccine now being used could have prevented over 64,000 HPV-related cervical cancers and 49,000 other HPV-related cancers. Human papilloma virus (HPV) may be the cause of most cervical cancers in women, but vaccinating boys will not only help protect their partners who may be susceptible to contracting the virus via sexual transmission, but also reduce the circulation of the virus in general. "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.

More than 10 million doses have been given to girls in England since 2008, when the vaccine became available to young women on the NHS.

Some 100,000 cases of cancer could be prevented in Britain in the next 40 years by a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cancers of the cervix, mouth, anus and genitals, United Kingdom health officials said on Tuesday. HPV is thought to be responsible for over 99% of cervical cancers, as well as 90% of anal, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60% of penile cancers.

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. "It's important not to delay vaccination, as the vaccine may be less effective as adolescents get older", Dr Mary Ramsay of Public Health England, said.

From September - every boy in Year 8 across Leeds will be given the HPV jab - to help prevent the spread of cancer.

She said: "With the boys it will not only protect against cervical cancer for the girls through herd immunity but could also protect against anal cancers and throat cancers".

The best time for vaccination is around 11-13 years old. If they miss out on the vaccination for any reason they should talk to their school nurse or immunisation team about getting the vaccine at a later date.

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The first dose will be given in school in Year 8, with a follow-up dose six months to two years later, also given in school.

Older boys (those now aged 13 to 18) will not be offered the vaccine on a "catch-up" basis.

One potential argument is that HPV vaccines and associated immunisation programmes are massively expensive. Prior to September 2012, a vaccine called Cervarix was used. These have concluded that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective.

HPV incorporates over 100 viruses, and as well as cervical cancer, can be linked to conditions affecting the skin, moist membranes, head and neck, including other forms of cancer. Examples of this include your cervix, anus or mouth and throat. Around 40 types of HPV infection can affect the genital area.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of Global Positioning System, said: "The potential of this vaccine to save lives and prevent the complications of cancer is huge, and since it has been available on the NHS for girls, it has had excellent take-up, with impressive results - it's important this success is replicated with boys".

This article has been republished from the following materials.

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