UK offers HPV vaccines to 12-old boys

UK offers HPV vaccines to 12-old boys

Great Britain announced the extension of a vaccination program to cover boys as well as girls, Reuters reports.


Public Health England (PHE) said that from September this year boys aged 12 and 13 in Britain will be offered the shots as part of a government health program.


64 000 cases of cervical cancer to be avoided


The immunization plan would prevent around 64,000 cervical cancers and nearly 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058.


This would be 50 years after the introduction of the HPV vaccination program in Britain. It began in girls in 2008 - when people who were vaccinated as teenagers might otherwise begin to develop HPV-related cancers, PHE said in a statement.


Since UK girls began getting the HPV vaccine in 2008, studies have shown that infections with some key types of the virus have fallen by 86% in 16 to 21 year-olds in England. A Scottish study also showed the vaccine had reduced pre-cancerous cervical disease in women by up to 71%.


Prevention of cancer of the penis and anus


Robin Weiss, a professor of viral oncology at University College London, said the extension of the HPV program “should be a win-win situation”.


It appears clear ... that vaccinated boys will themselves benefit from not getting cancer of the penis, anus, and a diminished risk of head and neck cancer”, he comments.