A vaccination which could stop the spread of a cancer-causing virus is now being made available to girls as well as boys.
A free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine will be offered to boys for the first time to help prevent the spread of HPV and stop certain types of cancers forming.
The NHS estimates that by vaccinating boys in Year Eight at school, as well as girls, over 100,000 cancers will be prevented by 2058.
Cllr Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing at Bedford Borough Council, said: “By us offering it to boys as well as girls it will protect more people and reduce the spread of the virus so that we can stop it from destroying lives.”
HPV is linked to 5% of all cancers worldwide causing the majority of genital cancers as well as some cancers in the neck and head. It is very common and can be caught through any kind of sexual contact with another person who has it. By having the vaccine boys and girls will have better protection against these types of cancer and spread of the virus will be reduced.
The council's school immunisation team will administer the vaccinations from September 2019 to all boys and girls aged 12 to 13 years. The second dose will be administered six months later and must be taken for it to provide the full protection.
Parents of boys and girls in Year Eight will receive information about the vaccine through their child’s school. Girls who missed their HPV vaccination in Year 8 can continue to have the vaccine up to their 25th birthday and should discuss this with their GP.
The school immunisation team are experienced and trained to support anxious and needle phobic children. If you are especially concerned about your child you can contact your local team by calling 01234 310408 or 07971 815 127
For more information visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/hpv-human-papillomavirus-vaccine/