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Government to vaccinate boys against HPV

24 Jul 2018

The Government has announced that it will introduce a national vaccination programme for teenage boys against human papilloma virus (HPV), following advice published by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) last week. HPV is strongly linked to oral cancer, and while teenage girls are currently offered vaccinations against the virus, campaigners have argued for a number of years that the programme should be extended to boys as well.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons (FDS) called for this in its 2015 report on improving oral health, and recently co-signed a letter to the Public Health Minister Steve Brine MP with a number of other dental organisations setting out the case for vaccinating boys.

The Welsh and Scottish Governments announced last week that they would act on the JCVI's advice and extend the vaccination programme to cover boys, and Ministers at the Department for Health and Social Care have now confirmed that they will be doing the same in England. Details of the implementation plan will follow in due course.

Professor Michael Escudier, Dean of the FDS, said: “It is great news that the Government have taken the decision to provide HPV vaccinations to boys as well as girls, which follows years of hard work by campaigners and a number of health organisations - this is an important announcement that will ultimately save lives. We now look forward to seeing the details of how the vaccination programme will be implemented".

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