DHSC gives go ahead for boys to receive HPV vaccine

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  • DHSC gives go ahead for boys to receive HPV vaccine

    DHSC gives go ahead for boys to receive HPV vaccine

    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:22
  • Home Office gives go ahead to allow cannabis-derived products on prescription

    Home Office gives go ahead to allow cannabis-derived products on prescription

    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:19
  • New law strengthens punishment for assaulting health sector workers

    New law strengthens punishment for assaulting health sector workers

    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:16
  • Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:29
  • Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:07

a man vaccination imageJuly 23 2018

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations has supported the proposal to include boys in the human papilloma virus vaccination programme. 

After analysing both clinical and cost effectiveness studies by the University of Warwick, the JCVI has concluded that: “If considering a cost-effectiveness analysis where a combined girls’ and boys’ programme is compared to no vaccination, gender-neutral HPV vaccination is highly likely to be cost-effective.”

It has issued a formal statement which changes the position it took in 2013 when it only supported vaccinating girls aged 12-13 years with the HPV vaccine. 

“At that time the Committee considered that high coverage in girls would provide herd protection to boys, and that vaccination of boys would generate little additional benefit to the prevention of cervical cancer, which was the main aim of the programme,” it said.

Since reviewing recent evidence, its view now is that “there are clear health benefits in vaccinating boys. The data considered by the Committee show that the HPV vaccine is both safe to use in boys and generates comparable immunogenicity to that seen in girls. 

“It is clear that a programme to vaccinate adolescent males would provide those vaccinated with direct protection against HPV infection, and associated disease including anogenital warts, anal, penile and oropharyngeal cancers. 

“A gender-neutral programme would potentially provide optimal protection to men who have sex with men (MSM), by offering vaccination before the age of sexual debut.”

The RCGP has been among those campaigning for HPV vaccination to be given to adolescent boys. 

RCGP Chair Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “It has been frustrating that this effective vaccine has, until now, only been available on the NHS to girls but not boys. We hope parents will take up this important opportunity to get their sons and daughters vaccinated as soon as it is available to them.”

BMA board of science chair Professor Dame Parveen Kumar said: “This is an important moment for public health for which the BMA has long campaigned and we’re glad to see the JCVI recognise all children should be immunised against HPV1 reducing the risk for hundreds of thousands of people of contracting cancer.

“It makes that sense we are following the lead set by countries like Australia, Canada and the USA and introducing universal HPV vaccination. School aged girls have routinely been vaccinated against HPV which is known to cause cervical cancer and this has had a great impact in reducing its prevalence, but boys also need protection as more evidence emerges of the relationship between HPV and cancers that affect men.”

Links:
DHSC announcement    
JCVI: ‘Statement on HPV vaccination’. July 2018 
RCGP response             
BMA response               

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