Call for boys in Repub­lic to re­ceive the HPV vac­cine

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BYREBECCABLACK

THE HPV vac­cine should be ex­tended to boys in the Repub­lic, it has been rec­om­mended.

The Health In­for­ma­tion and Qual­ity Au­thor­ity (HIQA) has also ad­vised Health Minister Si­mon Harris to change to a more ef­fec­tive HPV vac­cine.

Girls in their first year of sec­ondary school are cur­rently of­fered the 4-va­lent vac­cine, which pro­tects against four types of HPV.

Hu­man papil­lo­mavirus (HPV) is the most com­mon vi­ral in­fec­tion of the re­pro­duc­tive tract, caus­ing a num­ber of con­di­tions in both men and women, in­clud­ing a range of can­cers, le­sions and gen­i­tal warts.

HIQA has ad­vised that the Na­tional Im­mu­ni­sa­tion Sched­ule switches from the 4-va­lent vac­cine to the 9-va­lent vac­cine, which pro­tects against an ad­di­tional five types of HPV, and that the vac­cine is ex­tended to boys of the same age.

Its di­rec­tor of health tech­nol­ogy as­sess­ment and deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, Dr Mairin Ryan, said HPV is re­spon­si­ble for ap­prox­i­mately one in ev­ery 20 cases of cancer across the world.

“This as­sess­ment demon­strates that the HPV vac­cine pro­vides ef­fec­tive pri­mary preven­tion against HPV in­fec­tion and HPV-re­lated dis­ease, and that the vac­cine is safe,” she said.

“Vac­ci­nat­ing girls with the 9-va­lent vac­cine is es­ti­mated to be cost-sav­ing and more ef­fec­tive than the ex­ist­ing girls-only 4-va­lent pro­gramme.

“A gen­der-neu­tral 9-va­lent vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme, where both boys and girls are vac­ci­nated, is es­ti­mated to be more ef­fec­tive than the girls-only al­ter­na­tive.”

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