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Home Industry News BDA criticises failure to offer HPV vaccinations to boys

BDA criticises failure to offer HPV vaccinations to boys

21st July 2017

The British Dental Association (BDA) has hit out at the continued refusal to offer human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations to boys in the UK.

Earlier this week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation decided not to recommend an extension of the current HPV vaccination programme to include school-age boys, citing evidence suggesting that high take-up of the vaccine among girls is sufficient to prevent the spread of infection.

However, the BDA has rejected this line of reasoning, pledging to make representations to the committee to persuade them to reconsider the evidence before a final decision is made in October.

HPV has been linked to one in 20 cases of cancer in the UK, with up to 80 percent of sexually active people likely to be infected by HPV at some point in their lives. Many forms of cancer caused by HPV – notably oral cancers – are now rising sharply in incidence.

A recent survey showed that 97 percent of dentists supported expanding the programme to include boys, with the same proportion saying they would want their own sons to receive the vaccination.

BDA chair Mick Armstrong said: "Dentists are on the frontline in the battle against oral cancer, a condition with heartbreaking and life-changing results. Ministers can choose to sit this one out, or show they really believe in prevention."

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