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Advice to parents in Cornwall about HPV vaccine

Advice to parents in Cornwall about HPV vaccine

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:02am 12th July 2019. (Updated at 10:33am 12th July 2019)

Advice is going out to parents in Cornwall as a vaccine that protects against certain cancers is offered to boys for the first time.

Pirate FM told you how the HPV jab will be offered to all 12 to 13-year-old lads (year 8) from September.

Until now only girls of that age had been given the vaccine.

Estimates suggest that the programme will lead to the prevention of over 64,000 cervical cancers and nearly 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058.

Scroll down to find everything you need to know about HPV and what the vaccine protects you against.

"We are so pleased to announce the roll out of the HPV vaccine to boys, making it universal at ages 12-13 will mean that HPV-related diseases could be a thing of the past.

"By vaccinating boys, we not only protect them but also prevent more cases of HPV related cancers in girls.

"This is a life saving vaccine and I would encourage all eligible boys and girls to take up the NHS offer of the free vaccine."

Dr Jonathan Roberts, Consultant for Public Health England South West

You can contact Cornwall's school immunisation provider on 01872 221105/06.

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What is the HPV virus?

Worldwide, about 5% of all cancers are linked to the HPV virus. This includes cervical, penile, anal and genital cancers and some cancers of the head and neck - all of which the vaccine helps to protect against.

Cervical cancer is currently the most common cancer in women under 35, killing around 850 women each year.

HPV is thought to be responsible for more than 90% of cervical cancers, as well as 90% of anal, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60% of penile cancers.

Modelling produced by the University of Warwick estimates that by 2058 the HPV vaccine currently being used may have prevented up to 64,138 HPV-related cervical cancers and 49,649 other HPV-related cancers.

This would be 50 years after the introduction of the HPV vaccination programme, when people who were vaccinated as teenagers have reached the age groups that they would typically be affected by HPV related cancers.

Find everything you need to know about HPV here.

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HPV Facts:

HPV vaccine:

  • The first dose of the HPV vaccine will be offered to boys and girls aged 12 and 13 in year 8. The second dose can be given anytime between 6 months to 24 months after. Two doses are needed to be fully protected.
  • Girls and boys who have their first vaccination after the age of 15 will need to have three doses.
  • Older boys (those currently aged 13-18) will not be offered the vaccine on a “catch-up” basis
  • The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine currently used in the NHS vaccination programme is called Gardasil. Prior to September 2012, a vaccine called Cervarix was used
  • Studies have already shown that the vaccine protects against HPV infection for at least 10 years, although experts expect protection to last for much longer and may be lifelong
  • Extensive reviews of HPV vaccine safety have been undertaken by various independent health bodies/authorities worldwide including the EMA, CDC, WHO and the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).  These have concluded that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective

HPV:

  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name for a group of viruses that affect your skin and the moist membranes lining your body. Examples of this include your: cervix, anus, mouth and throat
  • There are more than 100 types of HPV. Around 40 types of HPV infection can affect the genital area.
  • Genital HPV infections are common and highly contagious. They're spread during sexual activity
  • Infection with some types of genital HPV can cause: genital warts – the most common viral sexually transmitted infection (STI) in England, abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells within the cervix – this can sometimes lead to cervical cancer
  • HPV can also cause a number of different types of cancers, such as: anal cancer, cancer of the penis, some types of head and neck cancer, Other types of HPV infection can cause minor problems, such as warts and verrucas

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