Northern Ireland: boys to be offered HPV vaccine in bid to fight cancer

05 June 2019

Boys aged 12 to 13 in Northern Ireland are to be offered a vaccine to protect them against human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and the associated diseases, the Department of Health (DH) has announced.

DH says the programme offers the opportunity to make some HPV-related diseases and cancers a thing of the past. 

A high proportion of women under 25 have taken the opportunity to be vaccinated since the programme was introduced in 2008, and the intention is to protect boys through similar uptake rates.

The prevalence of the main HPV cancer-causing types 16 and 18 in Northern Ireland has already been reduced by more than 80%.

Chief medical officer for Northern Ireland Dr Michael McBride says: ‘I would encourage all parents to take up this offer and ensure their boys and girls are vaccinated.’

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