Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called on the Health Minister to extend the roll-out of the HPV Vaccination Programme to all post-primary adolescent males. The vaccine is currently offered to boys aged 12-13 years old, however, as this has only been the case since September 2019, older teenagers will have missed the opportunity to be vaccinated.
Recently published research shows that the HPV vaccine is cutting cases of cervical cancer by nearly 90%.
“The evidence is now crystal clear that the HPV vaccine helps protect both boys and girls from HPV-related cancers. Whilst the vaccination is associated with preventing cervical cancer, human papilloma also causes some oral, throat, anal and penile cancers, as well as two types of genital warts,” said the South Belfast MLA.
“It was estimated when the vaccine was first rolled out to boys that 29,000 cancers in the UK could be prevented in the next forty years. We are already offering the vaccine to gay and bisexual adult men, and some transgender people. By extending the programme to all adolescent teenagers we will be helping prevent the transmission of HPV and be stopping many cancers from ever developing.
“I urge the Health Minister to consider extending the Vaccination Programme to all post-primary adolescent males at the earliest opportunity. We are just beginning to see just how effective this vaccine has been for women. Taking proactive steps now could save many more lives.”