Labour calls for HPV vaccine to be extended to boys
The Labour Party will this evening use its Private Members time in the Dáil to call for unanimous support for the HPV vaccine programme to help protect against cervical cancer and to support the rollout of the vaccination for young boys.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Labour spokesperson on health, Alan Kelly TD, commented:
“Every year more than 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and sadly over 90 will lose their lives.
“What is so tragic is that this type of cancer is unique in the level of preventative measures available before it progresses to this point, one of which is the HPV vaccine.
“HPV is associated with 99% of all cervical cancers. Fortunately the HPV vaccine protects against the four strains of the virus which are implicated in most cases of cervical cancer. It is absolutely vital that young girls avail of this life-saving HPV vaccine, which together with regular screening when in their 20s, can help protect against cervical cancer later in life.
“While thankfully we’ve seen a recent uptake in vaccination rates since the huge drop last August due to misinformation doing the rounds, our motion tonight is calling for the Dáil to unanimously support the campaign to encourage parents to avail of the HPV vaccine for their children in their first year of secondary school.
“We also want the vaccine to be extended to boys in first year of secondary school, because they can also develop HPV associated cancers in later life, such as oropharyngeal cancer, penile cancer and genital warts in men and women.
“Extending the HPV vaccine to boys is therefore a common-sense, evidence based measure which is already in place in countries like Australia.
“I hope that my colleagues in the Dáil will get behind this important Labour Party motion on a vaccine that can ultimately save lives”.