BOYS across Wales aged 12-13 during the next academic year will be offered the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine in school, alongside girls.

The vaccine has been offered to girls in the same age range (Year Eight) since 2008 in Wales, in an effort to reduce the number of cervical cancer cases.

And the expansion of the HPV vaccination programme to include is intended to protect them from a range of cancers, as well as helping the fight against cervical cancer.

The vaccine will be offered to boys in schools in Wales from the Spring and Summer terms of 2020.

“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’," said Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.

“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.”

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,” said Dr Richard Roberts, head of the vaccine preventable disease programme for Public Health Wales.

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