Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have commenced a national public consultation on offering the HPV vaccine to boys. Currently, the HPV (Human Papillomavirus Vaccine) vaccine is offered to teenage girls only. The HPV vaccine protects girls from developing HPV-related cancer when they are adults.
Dr Máirín Ryan, Director of Health Technology Assessment and Deputy Chief Executive at HIQA commented, “539 cases of cancer associated with HPV infection are diagnosed every year in Ireland, including cervical, anal, penile and oropharyngeal cancers. HPV infection is also responsible for genital warts, with 90% of these caused by HPV types that are included in the vaccine”.
HIQA’s health technology assessment unit is reviewing the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of extending this programme to include vaccinating boys in their first year of secondary school. Draft findings from this assessment show that both boys and girls would have considerable health benefits from receiving the vaccine.
In Northern Ireland, girls receive the vaccination in Year 9. For reliable information on the vaccine in Northern Ireland, click here and for reliable information on the HPV vaccine in the Republic of Ireland visit hpv.ie.