RSPH is delighted that Public Health Minister Steve Brine has confirmed that the national HPV vaccination programme will be extended in England to include adolescent boys.

This announcement follows the recommendation on 18 July from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to implement a gender-neutral HPV vaccination programme, and the Scottish and Welsh governments have already announced they will also be following the JCVI’s advice.

The vaccine will be offered to boys aged 12-13, the same age at which girls are currently immunised against HPV, and will offer protection against HPV-related diseases including cancer and genital warts. Including boys in the vaccination programme will improve health equality and strengthen herd immunity, offering better protection to those who have not had the vaccination themselves.

RSPH is now calling for the gender-neutral vaccination programme to be rolled out as soon as possible, and the programme to also be extended to boys in Northern Ireland.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health, said: “It is fantastic to have confirmation that the HPV vaccination programme will be extended to boys in England, as well as in Scotland and Wales. Over the past 10 years, the vaccination programme for girls has already shown great benefits, but too many people were left unprotected against HPV-related diseases. It is imperative that the gender-neutral programme is implemented by September 2019 to ensure as many people as possible reap the benefits.”