The Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV) vaccination programme is being offered to boys for the first time as part of the routine immunisation schedule in England.
The local 0-19 Public Health Service will be rolling out the programme across Isle of Wight secondary schools from next week and will be offering the vaccination to boys and girls aged 12 and 13.
HPV is the name given to a very common group of viruses which are linked to the development of around 5% of all cancers. This includes cervical and genital cancers and some cancers of the head and neck – all of which the vaccine helps to protect against.
Andrea Bevan, Clinical Lead for the 0-19 Service, said:
“Offering the vaccine to boys too will not only protect them but will also prevent more cases of HPV-related cancers in girls.
“Vaccination programmes are an important part of public health and the school based programmes have shown to be an effective way of reaching the population to ensure the coverage needed for ‘community immunity’ which in turn helps protect vulnerable members of our community.”
Parents of Year 8 pupils will receive an information pack and a consent form from the school nurse team. The vaccination course includes 2 doses which are offered 6-12 months apart and it is important to have both doses to be protected. A second dose will be arranged 6 months after the first dose and will be given in April/May 2020.
Simon Bryant, Interim Director of Public Health for Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council said:
“This universal programme offers us the opportunity to make HPV-related diseases a thing of the past and build on the success of the girls’ programme.
“Offering the vaccine to boys will not only protect them but will also prevent more cases of HPV-related cancers in girls and reduce the overall burden of these cancers in both men and women in the future.
“I encourage all parents of eligible boys and girls to make sure they take up the offer for this potentially life-saving vaccine.”
In partnership with Island secondary schools the NHS School Nurse team will be offering the first dose on the following dates:
|Tuesday 17th Sept||The Bay CE Secondary School|
|Wednesday 18th Sept||Cowes Enterprise College|
|Thursday 19th Sept||Medina|
|Tuesday 24th Sept||Christ the King College|
|Wednesday 25th Sept||Ryde School|
|Thursday 26th Sept||Island Free School|
|Tuesday 1st October||Ryde Academy|
|Wednesday 2nd October||Carisbrooke College|
|Thursday 10th October||St Georges (Provisional)|
Contact School Nursing on 01983 821388 for information and appointments
Parents who have any queries or would like further information can contact the school nurse team on 01983 821388. Alternatively, information is also available at https://www.nhs.uk/hpv.
The HPV vaccination programme has been successfully running on the Island for 10 years. The success of the programme has been enhanced by the good working relationship between Island schools and the 0-19 Public Health Service.