Irish Cancer Society urges parents to vaccinate their boys & girls against HPV-related cancers next month

HPV vaccine to be offered free to first year boys for first time

The Irish Cancer Society has urged parents to vaccinate their boys and girls against HPV next month.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018-19 schools vaccination programme, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society, Averil Power said, “HPV is most commonly associated with cervical cancer in women. However, it also causes several different cancers in men. That’s why the Irish Cancer Society campaigned for the extension of the free HPV vaccination programme to boys. We are delighted this is now happening and urge parents to protect their boys and girls from preventable cancers by getting them vaccinated.”

“If parents have any concerns, I urge them to seek advice from their GP or another trained medical professional. Irish Cancer Society nurses can also provide information and advice through the Cancer Nurseline on freephone 1800 200 700.”

“You wouldn't let anyone but a mechanic fix your car and you wouldn't let anyone but a teacher teach your child, so make sure you get information about the HPV vaccine from a healthcare professional,” she added.

Ms Power also paid tribute to the late Laura Brennan who campaigned passionately for the HPV vaccine. “On a day like today, it is fitting to pay tribute to Laura Brennan, who campaigned passionately for the take-up of the HPV vaccine, which has seen a 20% increase since 2017. Her work, and the work of many other patient advocates, is having a direct impact on the lives of girls, and now boys, who will be protected into the future by this vaccine.”