HPV Vaccine For Boys – Westminster Hall Debate – Wednesday 2nd May 09.30 – 11.00
2nd May 2018
Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet) has secured a 90 minute debate on the provision (or lack of provision) of HPV Vaccination for adolescent boys. The debate will take place tomorrow (Wednesday 2nd May) between 09.30 and 11.00.
Speaking in advance of the debate Sir Roger has said:
“HPV vaccine has been available through the NHS since 2008 for girls as a prevention against cervical cancer but boys have to date been excluded from this provision on the grounds that the creation of “herd immunity” will protect young men from contracting sexually transmitted HPV-related diseases.
The Joint Council for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Government`s vaccination advisory committee , will consider the issue again at the beginning of June. The JCVI began to review the matter in 2013 and a decision was promised for 2015. This was deferred until 2017 and deferred again last year. There is now no published timescale but if the JCVI were to take a positive decision next month it is unlikely that a programme could start until at least 2020.
I regard this as short-termism at its worst. Every year some two thousand males in their fifties or sixties develop HPV-related throat, penile and anal cancers from infections contracted in youth. The cost of treatment is about £22 million a year. The cost of vaccines and delivery would currently be in the region of £21 million . That equation ignores, though, the social costs and the further treatment of HPV-related genital warts (which develop within three or four years of infection) at an additional annual £58 million.
Because the HPV related diseases in men are `slow burn` it is easy for the Health Service to kick this necessary expenditure into the long grass but this flies in the face of the Department`s own “Prevention Strategy”. We invest in the reduction of smoking-related and `sunshine exposure` cancers but continue to neglect a specific scheme to prevent cancers that are on the increase and that is available.
This debate is based upon health-related rather than `equality` issues and will seek to persuade Ministers to call on the JCVI to act and to recognise the need for a long-term approach to the high costs of neglecting HPV-related infections in young men. ”.