A letter signed by 13 HPV experts has been published today in The Times, UK, calling on the government to extend the vaccine to all boys. This followed a letter sent at the end of last week to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt signed by these leading clinicians, academics and scientists in HPV.
A transcript of the letter is included below:
We are very concerned about the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation(JCVI) timescale for a decision on vaccinating boys. As you will know, its assessment of this issue began in 2013 and a decision was expected in 2015. This was then put back to 2017. If a decision is made in 2017 to vaccinate boys,implementation of the programme might well not begin until 2020.Up to 80% of sexually active men will acquire HPV at some point in their lives and,with each year that passes, some 400,000 more boys are left unprotected. Even if a vaccination programme for boys does start in 2020, over 2.5 million boys will by then have missed out on vaccination in the period since 2013. We strongly recommend that JCVI is allocated the resources necessary to enable a decision to be made in the current year.We firmly believe that vaccinating boys as well as girls would:
We reject the argument that a 90% vaccination rate for girls is sufficient to protect males if there is also a programme for MSM. As stated above, many MSM will not receive protection when it is most needed before sexual debut and significant numbers of heterosexual men have sex with unvaccinated women (whether in parts of the UK where vaccination rates are lower, with UK women who are too old to have been eligible for HPV vaccination as an adolescent or with women from other countries).
We are aware that an increasing number of countries – Australia, Austria, Canada,Israel, Switzerland, the USA, the German region of Saxony and the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Sicily – now recommend HPV vaccination for both sexes. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Ireland’s Health Service Executive have also recommended that boys be included in their national vaccination programmes. The UK has an opportunity to be part of an international effort to eradicate HPV-related diseases as well as protect its own population better.
Yours sincerely (original copy signed by the following)
- Mr Stephen Cannon MA, MCh(Orth), FRCS, FRCS(Ed), Vice President, Royal College of Surgeons of England
- Dr Elizabeth Carlin, President, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV
- Mr Ben Challacombe BSc. MS FRCS (Urol), Consultant Urological Surgeon and Honorary Senior Lecturer Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Kings College London
- Professor Giampiero Favato, Director of the Institute for Leadership and Management in Health, Kingston University London
- Professor Nigel Hunt BDS, MSc, PhD, FDSRCS, FDSRCPS, FDSRCSE, FHEA, FGDP(UK), DOrth, MOrth RCS, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College Surgeons of England
- Professor Sean Kehoe MD DCH FRCOG FHEA, Lawson Tait Professor Gynaecological Cancer, University of Birmingham, Senior Research Fellow, Peters College, University of Oxford
- Professor Mark Lawler PhD, FRCPath, Dean of Education, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University Belfast
- Professor M A O Lewis PhD, BDS, FDSRCS, FDSRCPS, FDSRCSE, FRCPath, FFGDP(UK), FHEA Dean, School of Dentistry, Cardiff University and Director of the Clinical Board for Dentistry, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
- Professor Eilís McCaughan, Professor in Cancer Care, Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University
- Dr John McSorley, Consultant Physician, Sexual Health & HIV Services, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
- Professor Tony Narula FRCS, President, ENT UK
- Professor Crispian Scully CBE, DSc, MD, PhD, FMedSci, MDS, MRCS, BSc, FDSRCS, FDSRCPS, FFDRCSI, FDSRCSE, FRCPath, FHEA, FUCL, DChD, DMed(HC), Dhc Emeritus Professor, University College London
- Professor Saman Warnakulasuriya OBE BDS, FDSRCS, Dip Oral Med, PhD, DSc Emeritus Professor of Oral Medicine and Experimental Pathology, King's College London, Director, WHO Collaborating Center on Oral Cancer
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