From the academic year 2019/20, boys aged 12-13 will be offered the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in school alongside girls as part of the existing HPV programme.
The HPV vaccine has been offered to girls aged 12-13 in school year 8 since 2008. The vaccine will be offered in schools in Wales from the Spring and Summer terms of 2020.
Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales said:
The vaccine will not only protect males from HPV-related diseases – such as oral, throat and anal cancer – but also help reduce the overall number of cervical cancers in women, through improving ‘population immunity’.
“A recent study has shown that there is compelling evidence of the substantial impact of HPV vaccination programmes on HPV infections and pre-cancerous growths among girls, women, boys and men.
I hope that all parents of eligible boys and girls will take up the offer of this life-saving vaccine.”
Dr Richard Roberts, Head of Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme for Public Health Wales, said:
“HPV is thought to be responsible for more than 90 per cent of cervical cancers, as well as 90 per cent of anal, about 70 per cent of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60 per cent of penile cancers.”
“The HPV vaccine has been given to more than 10 million young women in the UK and over more than 80 million doses worldwide.”