HPV vaccine will now be given to boys as well as girls across Portsmouth and Southampton
Thousands of boys across Portsmouth and Southampton will now be given the free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by school nurses from Solent NHS Trust to help protect them against different forms of cancer.
Until now in the UK, the vaccine has only been given to girls, but boys aged 12 and 13 in year 8 will now be given the vaccine as part of a national roll out.
The vaccine is used to protect both boys and girls against HPV related cancers later in life, including cervical cancer in women, certain genital cancers and cancer of the head and neck.
The Trust will work in partnership with local schools and the community to deliver the two-dose schedule, the first starting from September 2019, with the second dose in the spring term.
Public Health England estimates that in the UK by 2058 the vaccine will have prevented over 100,000 cancers.
Lorraine Fenner, Operational Manager and Modern Matron for the Portsmouth School Nursing Service at Solent NHS Trust, said: “The evidence is clear that the HPV vaccine protects both boys and girls from HPV-related cancers, including cancer of the mouth and throat, cervical cancer and certain genital cancers.
“We would strongly encourage parents and carers whose children are eligible for the free vaccine to make sure they take this up as it could potentially save thousands of lives. We are always more than happy to provide parents, teachers and, of course, the young people themselves with more information about the protection we are offering them.
“We look forward to protecting even more of our young people through offering the HPV vaccine to boys.”
Consent forms will be sent to parents and guardians of eligible children via their school at the beginning of the school year. Parents and guardians of children who are electively home educated and have not received a consent form should contact Solent NHS Trust by visiting www.solent.nhs.uk/immunisations