HPV vaccine concerns: GPs should not dismiss worries

HPV vaccine concerns: GPs should not dismiss worries

The HPV vaccine will be made available to first-year boys in secondary schools in Ireland for the first time from next week. Until now, boys have not been included in the free human papillomavirus school vaccination programme.

Since 2010, girls in the first year of secondary school have been offered a form of the vaccine, which has now been made more effective against nine out of 10 types of HPV cancers.

This is happening amid a growing mistrust in vaccines generally in the Western world which has also led to a sharp rise in measles and mumps in many countries.

Parents who may be concerned about allowing their children to get the HPV vaccine should inform themselves of its efficacy and not rely solely on the opinion of their GP. Neither should doctors and other health professionals be dismissive of those concerns which are genuine and enduring.

Parents should note, though, that internationally, the case for the vaccine is overwhelming. The World Health Organization has endorsed it and, earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a statement to mark World Cancer Day in which it “unequivocally confirms the efficacy and safety of HPV vaccination”.

When considering what to do, parents should be aware that the human papillomavirus causes most cases of cervical cancer and HPV-type cancers claim the lives of almost half a million people worldwide every year, most of them women.

More in this Section

Dublin is no longer merely a countyDublin is no longer merely a county

#RWC2019: Euphoria and despair will meet in Japan#RWC2019: Euphoria and despair will meet in Japan

Climate Change: How many climate warnings do we need?Climate Change: How many climate warnings do we need?

Jim Daly: A hard career choiceJim Daly: A hard career choice


For an instant supper or lunch, fishcakes can be nourishing, warming and tasty. To complete a balanced meal, all it takes is some stirfried or roasted root vegetables.Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

More From The Irish Examiner