Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 16-02-2012

New HPV vaccine to be introduced but not for boys

by Tessa Hawley

New HPV vaccine to be introduced but not for boys

A NEW vaccine to treat the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) will be introduced later this year – but it will not be made available to boys.


The Island's Health Minister has confirmed that the Department of Health will stop using the Cervarix vaccine and instead switch to using the Gardisil vaccine.


David Anderson MHK explained: "From September 2012 we will use the Gardisil vaccine which as well as giving excellent protection against HPV strains 16 and 18, which are associated with 70 per cent of cervical cancers, also protects against strains HPV 6 and 11 which cause genital warts."


The subject of vaccinating against HPV was raised by South Douglas MHK Kate Beecroft in the House of Keys on February 7.


She wanted to know when the new Gardisil vaccine would be introduced and when it would be made available to boys in the Isle of Man.


Mr Anderson confirmed that his department had no plans at present to introduce the vaccine for teenage boys as it had not been recommended to do so by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).


The JCVI is an independent expert committee which advises on vaccination and immunisation and considers the evidence based on clinical and cost effectiveness.


Mr Anderson continued: "When such a recommendation is made the Isle of Man will introduce the vaccine but that obviously will approximately double the cost of the scheme."


Mrs Beecroft expressed concern that a lot of boys in the Island would be affected by HPV later in life.


She said: "This is because a lot of our young people see oral sex as a safer option and this is actually more dangerous for boys because of the higher concentrations of the HPV virus in the female genital tract.


"I know it is going to cost more money but it is going to save an awful lot more money. Surely we should be looking ahead and trying to minimise our ongoing costs in this area and provide a better service and look after our young men as well as our young women."


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Also see: Health Minister to be quizzed on HPV vaccination for boys

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