HPV Vaccine Will Prevent Many Cancers For Boys

HPV Vaccine Will Prevent Many Cancers For Boys

HPV Vaccine Will Prevent Many Cancers For Boys

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. The vaccine, which helps protect against a virus which causes several types of cancer, has already been available to girls for 11 years.

Boys who are 12 years or over will be eligible to get vaccinated from the beginning of the school year.

Girls have been offered the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine free from the NHS since 2008.

Three vaccines of different types of HPV exist on the market, and they have proven extremely effective in protecting against HPV cancers. In the United States, high-risk HPV infections cause about 3% of all cancers in women and 2% in men, according to the National Cancer Institute.

After the distribution of vaccine, there has been a reduction in genital warts, pre-cancerous growths and HPV infections in teenage girls and young women.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "almost every person who is sexually active will get HPV at some time in their life if they don't get the HPV vaccine". This would be 50 years after the introduction of the HPV vaccination programme, when people who were vaccinated as teenagers have reached the age groups that they would typically be affected by HPV-related cancers.

But when the next academic year begins, boys in year eight will be given the jab too with parental consent.

The vaccine programme would lead to the prevention of up to 64,138 cervical cancers and nearly 49,649 other HPV related cancers by 2058, according to a model prepared by the University of Warwick. That would include some 30,000 cancer cases in males.

Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, Dr Mary Ramsay, said: "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".

The HPV virus is linked to around 5 percent of all cancers worldwide, including cervical cancer.

Two doses are wanted to be fully protected.

Studies show the vaccine protects against infection for at least 10 years, but experts predict the protection could be lifelong. In Australia, the vaccine has been implemented for girls since 2007 and for boys since 2013.

"I think it is great that men are now also being offered the HPV vaccine, to protect them and the women around them".

"The government now needs to work with the NHS and local authorities to ensure that we maintain efforts to actively communicate the important health benefits of this vaccine to parents and adolescents".

One potential argument is that HPV vaccines and associated immunisation programmes are massively expensive. If they miss out on the vaccination for any reason they should talk to their school nurse/immunisation team about getting the vaccine at a later date.

Data recently published in the Lancet shows that HPV infections could be essentially wiped out from developed countries within decades.

The estimates produced by the University of Warwick are based on a comparison between there being no HPV vaccination programme and the girls programme starting in 2008 with the addition of boys in 2017.

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