Call to extend cervical cancer vaccine to boys

Topic Selected: Sexual Health

General Article icon Type: General Article

Boys should be given a cervical cancer vaccine only given to girls to protect them against infectious diseases.

The BMA annual consultants conference in London today agreed the UK HPV (human papillomavirus) Gardasil vaccination programme should be extended to boys to provide protection against various cancers. 

Consultants said this could also improve population-wide immunity. 

Girls are offered the vaccine at the age of 12 or 13 to protect them against cervical cancer. The Gardasil vaccine protects them against genital warts, which are caused by some types of HPV.

International evidence

London GUM consultant Eleanor Draeger told the conference that Australia, Canada and the US had extended their Gardasil vaccination programme to boys after an Australian audit showed it reduced the incidence of genital warts in girls exponentially.

She said doing so in the UK would provide greater protection through herd immunity.

Dr Draeg

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