9 July 2019
Public Health England (PHE) has announced today the official launch of the universal Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine programme. From September 2019, boys aged between 12 to 13 will be offered the free HPV vaccine in England.
In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement:
Professor Arne Akbar, President of the British Society for Immunology, said:
“The British Society for Immunology welcomes the extension of the HPV vaccine programme to boys from September this year. Numerous studies have shown that the HPV vaccine is safe and extremely effective, offering protection against a number of diseases, including a variety of cancers and genital warts. Since the introduction of the HPV vaccine to girls in 2008, there has been a substantial decline in HPV infections, with some types reduced by 86% in 16-21-year-old women in England.
“The extension of the HPV vaccine to boys will build on the proven success of the girls’ programme to protect boys from human papilloma virus infections that can cause a variety of cancers including those of the anus, mouth and throat. The Government now needs to work with the NHS and local authorities to ensure that we maintain efforts to actively communicate the important health benefits of this vaccine to parents and adolescents. We encourage parents of eligible boys and girls to take up the offer and protect future generations against these preventable diseases with the HPV vaccine.”