Wednesday 22 November 2017

Teenage boys face long wait for HPV vaccine

HSE medical officer Dr Maureen O’Leary giving one of the first HPV vaccines at Our Lady’s Grove Primary, Dublin. Picture: Fennells
HSE medical officer Dr Maureen O’Leary giving one of the first HPV vaccines at Our Lady’s Grove Primary, Dublin. Picture: Fennells
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

The powerful HPV vaccine won't be rolled out to teenage boys until September next year at the earliest, the Sunday Independent has confirmed.

The human papillomavirus virus is transmitted through various forms of sexual activity and is highly contagious.

Schoolgirls are currently vaccinated to guard against a range of cervical cancers.

Now the authorities are re-examining the possibility of protecting teenage boys against HPV.

It comes as a new study has found that teenage girls who receive the HPV vaccine are not at risk of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Hundreds of Irish schoolgirls have claimed to have suffered from the syndrome in the weeks following their injection.

However, new research on more than 175,000 Norwegian girls showed that there is no increased risk for those who receive the vaccine.

The Norwegian institute of public health scientists discovered unvaccinated girls faced the same risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome.

A nationwide rollout of the vaccine is now under consideration in Ireland.

An expert analysis on the effectiveness of the drug in preventing HPV cancers in males has been commissioned by the Department of Health.

The HIQA's board approved the initiation of the health technology assessment (HTA) in March.

Work has commenced and the target date for completion of the HTA is September 2018.

Sunday Independent

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