PEI

P.E.I. considers free HPV vaccine for boys

P.E.I. is looking into whether it should start offering a vaccine against the human papilloma virus to boys.

P.E.I. is looking into whether it should start offering a vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV) to boys.

The Island already provides the vaccine free of charge to girls in grade six.

The Department of Health and Wellness said this week that rates of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise on P.E.I.

This week the National Advisory Committee on Immunization endorsed the use of the HPV vaccine for males aged nine to 26.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province's chief health officer told CBC News she was pleased about the recommendation.

She said there is evidence the vaccine can protect males against some forms of cancer and genital warts.

"We are really encouraged to see the NACI statement come out recommending that also boys be vaccinated. So we will be definitely looking at what we are going to do in terms of offering it to boys as well," Morrison said. "It is a good, safe, effective vaccine."

Gardasil is the only HPV vaccine indicated and recommended for boys and men in Canada. The HPV vaccine has been controversial since it was recommended for girls five years ago.

Health Canada approved Gardasil to prevent infection caused by human papilloma virus Types six, 11, 16, and 18 and genital warts caused by HPV types six and 11

Only about a third of adolescent girls have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Morrison said before moving forward, she wants to see if the Canadian Immunization Committee will agree with the recommendation.

She also said the province should come up with the funds to pay for the extra vaccines.

 

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