A VACCINATION programme in schools helping to protect against cancer is being expanded to include boys for the first time.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been offered to S1 schoolgirls in Scotland since 2008, helping to protect against cervical cancer, and parents are now being asked to ensure permission forms for boys are returned as soon a possible.
However, Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Nigel Calvert said: “We’re very pleased to say that, as of this coming Monday March 2, the HPV school vaccination programme is being extended to boys as well as girls.
“This programme has been provided free to girls in S1 since 2008, and the aim of the programme is to prevent infection from the Human Papillomavirus because that will prevent cases of many cancers, but in particular cervical cancer.
“It was a very expensive vaccine at the time, and it was only offered to girls because that was felt to be the most efficient way to use the money. But now we’re in a position to be able to offer it to boys in S1 as well, so I’m very much hoping that this will also be a success, and that parents of boys in S1 class will ensure forms are returned as soon as possible.”
Dr Calvert explains that the vaccinations will help to establish a general immunity to Human Papillomavirus within the region, offering greater protection to both boys and girls.
The vaccination programme for girls and boys is set to run in schools across the region throughout March, and forms have already been sent out.
Dr Calvert said: “It’s a great opportunity, and a really good way of reducing the numbers of cases of this form of cancer.”
To find out more about Human Papillomavirus (HPV), visit the website https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/vaccines/hpv-vaccine