HPV vaccine: anger over decision not to extend NHS scheme to boys
The decision is disappointing and short sighted but predictable.
Here’s the BDA’s opinion:
“The decision by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), not to vaccinate boys against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been condemned by health bodies and campaigners. Following a review of the vaccination programme the JCVI concluded that it was “highly unlikely to be cost-effective” to extend the scheme to include adolescent boys as well as girls. The committee, which has yet to publish its final recommendation, said in an interim statement that studies “consistently show” boys are afforded “considerable herd protection” when there is high uptake of the vaccine in girls. A number of campaign groups criticised the decision, including the BDA. Quoted by several outlets including the Guardian, BBC and Daily Mail BDA chair Mick Armstrong noted that HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers, a condition which can have life-changing results. He said government must offer every child the best chance of protection. HPV Action, a campaign group of which the BDA is a member, said they would urge ministers to make the right decision and said there might also be grounds for a legal challenge on the grounds that a decision to leave boys and men at risk breaches equality law. This initial recommendation by JCVI will now be subject to a public consultation and a final decision will be made in October. The BDA said it would urge the committee to reconsider the evidence.”