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07th Aug 2018

HPV vaccine to be given to boys from next year, says Varadkar

Jade Hayden

The HPV vaccine is to be given to boys from next year, says Leo Varadkar.

The Taoiseach said that the government have plans to extend the programme to boys in 2019 due to the “considerable health benefits” associated with the vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is currently given to all secondary school girls in their first year of school.

The vaccine protects against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which can lead to cervical cancer in women, but the infection can also cause penile, anal and oropharyngeal cancers in men.

This comes after the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) considered last week whether the vaccine should also be administered to boys in school.

Both girls and boys in countries including Austria, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US are already offered HPV vaccines by the state.

The Department of Health asked HIQA to look into whether it should offer the vaccine to Irish boys at the same age as girls last week.

The move is being backed by the Irish Cancer Society.