HIQA to conduct research into HPV vaccine for boys

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), has said research will be undertaken in Ireland to see if the HPV vaccine should be extended to boys.

HIQA to conduct research into HPV vaccine for boys

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), has said research will be undertaken in Ireland to see if the HPV vaccine should be extended to boys.

The human papillomavirus vaccine is currently given to girls to help prevent cervical cancer and is part of the national immunisation scheme.

It is known that there are other cancers associated with this virus that affect both men and women, such as genital and oropharyngeal (throat) cancer.

HPV is associated with the development of penile cancer in men, as well as being the cause of genital warts in both men and women.

HIQA’s Director of Health Technology Assessment and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Máirín Ryan said: “HPV infection is the most commonly acquired sexually transmitted viral infection.

"In most cases it causes no symptoms and is cleared by the body’s immune system. However, persistent infection can lead to the development of cancer,” she said.

HIQA’s assessment will also consider the wider implications of any proposed change to the vaccination programme, such as the budget impact, use of resources, and the ethical and societal implications.

HIQA has said that the vaccine has been proven to be highly safe and effective and results of the health technology assessment are expected this year.

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