Boys to be offered HPV vaccine for the first time image by ttanothai AdobeStock_138184160

Parents will receive information about the vaccine through their child’s school

A free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine will be offered to boys for the first time to help prevent the spread of HPV and stop certain types of cancers forming.

HPV is linked to 5% of all cancers worldwide causing the majority of genital cancers as well as some cancers in the neck and head. HPV is very common and can be caught easily through any kind of sexual contact with another person who already has it.

It is estimated that by vaccinating boys in year eight at school, as well as girls, it will prevent around 64,000 cervical cancers and around 50,000 non-cervical cancers affecting men and women by 2058.

Cllr Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing for Bedford Borough Council, said:

“By us offering it to boys as well as girls it will protect more people and reduce the spread of the virus so that we can stop it from destroying lives.”

Cllr Tracey Stock, executive member for Health and Wellbeing and Communities for Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

“Cervical cancer is currently the most common cancer in women under 35, killing around 850 women each year. This vaccine is so important in preventing these unnecessary deaths as well as helping to protect both men and women from other cancers linked to the virus.

“Offering the HPV vaccine to boys and girls will protect more people and reduce the spread of the virus so we can stop it from destroying lives.”

The first dose of the vaccine will be administered by the school immunisation team from September 2019 to all boys and girls in year eight. The second dose will be administered six months later and must be taken for it to provide the full protection.

Parents of eligible children will receive information about the vaccine through their child’s school. Girls who missed their HPV vaccination can continue to have the vaccine up to their 25th birthday and should discuss this with their GP.

The school immunisation team are experienced and trained to support anxious and needle phobic children. If you are especially concerned about your child please contact your local team 01234 310408 or 07971 815 127

For more information about the vaccine visit HPV Vaccine.