Northern Ireland: cancer charity says boys should receive HPV vaccine

03 October 2018

Boys should be included in a vaccination scheme to protect them from the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), say Cancer Focus NI and the British Dental Association.

The government in England and health ministers in Wales and Scotland have confirmed they will introduce the vaccine for boys aged 12 and 13, and the Republic of Ireland is to follow suit.

Girls in the UK are already offered the vaccine against HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to a range of cancers, including cervical and oral.

Gerry McElwee, head of cancer prevention at Cancer Focus NI, said: ‘With every year that passes, 12,000 more boys in Northern Ireland are left unprotected against HPV-related diseases. That is unacceptable.’

A Department of Health statement said preparatory work was beginning to introduce HPV vaccines for boys in Northern Ireland, pending a decision by an incoming minister.

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