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BSI response to DHSC announcement on provision of HPV vaccine to boys

24 July 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care have today announced the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine will routinely be provided to boys aged between 12 to 13 in England.  This follows a report from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that was published last week.  In response to this news, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement.

Professor Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology:

“The British Society for Immunology welcomes today’s announcement from the Government that they will fund the provision of the HPV vaccine to adolescent boys in England. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the HPV vaccine is safe and highly effective in providing protection against diseases caused by the human papilloma virus, such as genital warts, and a variety of cancers including those of the anus, mouth and throat.  In the UK, the introduction of the HPV vaccine to girls in 2008 to prevent cervical cancer proved to be a major step forward in public health, significantly decreasing HPV infections in 16–21 year old women by 86%. I’m pleased to see that boys will now also be able to reap the health benefits that this vaccine confers.

“The Department of Health and Social Care now need to work with vaccine manufacturers to ensure that a national rollout of this vaccine to boys can begin as soon as possible. Alongside the rollout, it’s also crucial that we redouble efforts to actively communicate the important health benefits of this vaccine to parents and children.”

“Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective and successful measures we have to save lives and improve public health over the whole lifespan. Today’s announcement does leave some questions that still need to be answered in the wider field of vaccine provision. We call on the Government to carefully consider the responses to its recent consultation on the ‘Cost-Effectiveness Methodology for Vaccination Programmes & Procurement (CEMIPP) Report’ to ensure that the UK retains its position at the forefront of vaccine provision.”