The Mail on Sunday has reported that HPV jabs will be offered, for the first time in Britain, to thousands of teenage boys on the NHS, as well as girls, to protect against deadly cancers. 

HPV Action, of which the Mouth Cancer Foundation is a member, is now seeking official clarification of the position and are urging the government to make a statement in advance of the publication of the minutes of the recent JCVI meeting (the minutes are due to be released on 18 July).

HPV Action has been advocating the vaccination of boys since the JCVI began its assessment of the issue in 2013. A change in policy would protect around 400,000 more boys each year who are currently exposed to the risk of HPV infection and the range of diseases caused by the virus, including several types of cancer. It would also bring the UK into line with almost 20 other countries which already vaccinate boys or plan to do so.

HPVA's Campaign Director, Peter Baker, says “We call on the Department of Health and Social Care and the vaccine manufacturers to reach agreement on the procurement issues as soon as possible. All parties should aim for an implementation date of September 2019.   The decision to vaccinate boys is long overdue but still very welcome indeed. It will ensure that boys have the same level of protection against a range of cancers and genital warts that girls have had since 2008. It also brings the UK into line with around 20 other countries which already recommend vaccination for both sexes. We now urge the government and the vaccine manufacturers to move quickly to ensure that there is no further delay. With each year that passes without vaccination for all, 400,000 more boys are left at risk of the diseases caused by HPV.”

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