Human papillomavirus, or HPV, might hide in the crevices of the tonsils until they cause head and neck cancer, even in people who seem otherwise healthy.
Two doses are needed to be fully protected. Two doses of vaccines are given to the young girls and boys for full protection.
- 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.
PHE is now estimating prevention of 85, 000 cancers in women, including 64,000 cervical cancer cases, and 29,000 cancers in men by 2058 with the help of this vaccination program.
Data recently published in The Lancet showed an 83% reduction in infections in 15- to 19-year-old girls over five to eight years, with researchers finding "compelling evidence of the substantial impact of HPV vaccination programmes on HPV infections".
United Kingdom health officials have announced the extension of a vaccination programme against the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cancers of the cervix, mouth, anus and genitals, to cover boys as well as girls.
They have predicted cervical cancer - the most common type in women under 35 - could be avoided 64,138 times, and other cancers 49,649 times.
"It's important not to delay the vaccination, as it may be less effective as adolescents get older".
Public Health have announced today it's extending it to 12 and 13 year old boys - rather than just girls as it is now.
"HPV can affect everyone, it does not discriminate, yet there are still several harmful stigmas and myths that surround it". Cervical cancer is now the most common cancer in women under 35, killing around 850 women each year. If they miss out on the vaccination for any reason they should talk to their school nurse/immunisation team about getting the vaccine at a later date.
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The HPV jab now used by the NHS is Gardasil, which protects against HPV for at least 10 years and possibly a lifetime.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England (PHE), said: "Offering the vaccine to boys will not only protect them but will also prevent more cases of HPV-related cancers in girls and reduce the overall burden of these cancers in both men and women in the future".
"Whatever we can do to prevent more people from being diagnosed with cancer can only be a positive thing and the fact that it is going to be offered to boys is fantastic".
"I encourage all parents of eligible boys and girls to make sure they take up the offer for this potentially life-saving vaccine".
The HPV vaccine works best if boys and girls get it before they become sexually active.
There are more than 100 types of HPV.
"When we introduced the girls programme in 2008 we did a catch-up".
"Whilst we welcome the decision to provide the vaccine to boys in Year 8, which will have a significantly positive impact on reducing the spread of HPV and improving sexual health outcomes more broadly, we are disappointed that a 'catch up" hasn't also been included for the boys who fall outside of this age.
The estimates produced by the University of Warwick are based on a comparison between there being no HPV vaccination programme and the girls programme starting in 2008 with the addition of boys in 2017. Note: material may have been edited for length and content.