Manitoba

Manitoba expands HPV vaccination program to include boys

The expanded program, which will roll out in September 2016, will offer free vaccines to boys and girls in Grade 6 across Manitoba.

Boys and girls in Grade 6 will be eligible for free HPV vaccine starting September 2016

On Wednesday, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced Manitoba is expanding its HPV vaccine program to boys. (Meagan Fiddler/CBC)

Manitoba is expanding its HPV vaccine program to include boys.

The expanded program, which will roll out in September 2016, will offer free vaccines to boys and girls in Grade 6 across Manitoba.

Any girl or boy who misses the vaccine in Grade 6 will be eligible to get it in later years free of charge under the province's "once eligible, always eligible," program.

Boys in Grade 9 will also be offered the vaccine free-of-charge for the next three years in schools.

The infection can lead to cervical cancer and a range of other cancers.

HPV affects men and women. Most HPV infections go away over time with no treatment, but some can be cancer-causing, according to CancerCare Manitoba.

In 2014, the province cut funding for free HPV vaccines for women age 18 to 26, prompting concerns from some local doctors.

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