World first: HPV Vaccine extended to boys

Released 19/11/2012

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA today said Australia will be the first country in the world to give school-aged 12-13 year old boys (year 7) the Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) under the National Immunisation Program.

"The ACT Government is pleased to partner with the Australian Government in the introduction of this HPV vaccine for Australian school-aged boys," the Chief Minister said.

"Immunisations will be provided through a school-based vaccination program to commence in 2013 with a two year catch up component for boys in year nine.

"The vaccine will protect boys from HPV related cancers and genital warts.  It will also increase the effectiveness of the vaccination program for girls in year seven which has been funded since 2007," the Chief Minister said.

The HPV vaccine provides protection against:

  • cervical cancer and other HPV related cancers
  • Genital warts

HPV is a common virus that affects both males and females.  More than 50% of people, both male and female, will be infected with at least one type of genital HPV at some point in time.  Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact could contract genital HPV.  Vaccination is most effective when given before a person becomes sexually active.

"I encourage parents of all Year 7 students and Year 9 boys to take advantage of the HPV vaccination in 2013," the Chief Minister concluded.

For more information on HPV and vaccination:

- Statement ends -

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