Why did Hiqa de­cide to ex­tend vac­cine?

The Irish Times - - Home News -

Hiqa said it had, fol­low­ing a health tech­nol­ogy as­sess­ment, de­cided to ex­tend the HPV vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme to in­clude boys be­cause 25 per cent of HPV can­cers oc­cur in men.

Dr Máirín Ryan, Hiqa deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, said there are about 540 cases of HPV re­lated can­cers each year in the State.

“While 75 per cent oc­cur in women, 25 per cent oc­cur in men, that’s over 100 cases of HPV re­lated cancer in men each year,” she said.

“In ad­di­tion HPV causes anogen­tial warts, there are be­tween 7,000 and 9,500 cases of anogen­i­tal warts in both men and women each year so men do have the po­ten­tial to ben­e­fit sub­stan­tially from HPV vac­ci­na­tion.

“It can cause cancer of the orophar­ynx area at the back of the throat - it af­fects both men and women, it can cause pe­nile and anogen­i­tal cancer in men as well.”

She went on to ex­plain that as part of the as­sess­ment Hiqa car­ried out there was a “very sub­stan­tial as­sess­ment of the best avail­able ev­i­dence on the safety of HPV vac­cine”.

“We looked at data that came from 70,000 trial par­tic­i­pants and over 20 mil­lion in­di­vid­u­als who re­ceived the vac­ci­na­tion in ob­ser­va­tional stud­ies.

“What we found from as­sess­ing that ev­i­dence base is that there is no in­creased in­ci­dents of se­ri­ous ad­verse events as­so­ci­ated with the vac­cine by com­par­i­son with those who re­ceived ei­ther a placebo or control,” she said.

“There are no in­di­ca­tions of se­ri­ous side ef­fects as­so­ci­ated with HPV vac­cine . . . cer­vi­cal cancer is a ter­ri­ble dis­ease, this is safe and ef­fec­tive and needs to be pro­moted.”

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