Dutch boys to start receiving HPV vaccine

From 2021, Dutch boys will join their female peers in receiving HPV vaccinations as part of the National Vaccination Program. According to a statement, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis decided to make the vaccine available to boys to prevent against the human papillomavirus, a virus which causes cancer in about 1000 women and 500 men annually.

Young girls have been vaccinated against HPV since 2010 to prevent cervical cancer. This year a record number of girls received the vaccine; 65% of girls born in 2006 received their first shot which is an increase from 48% of girls born in 2004.

The HPV vaccine will be added to the 2021 vaccine package for boys because males infected with HPV can develop mouth, throat, anus, or penile cancer. The slow implementation of the vaccine is because, as Blokhuis reported, “In the meantime, we need to purchase the vaccine and organize the implementation.”

Following the advice of the Health Council, Blokhuis also lowered the age at which a child can receive the vaccine to 9 years old which better fits with other vaccinations received at that age. Children who miss the vaccine will have another opportunity for injection when they are 14 or 16.

Blokhuis said that he is “glad that we can better protect both boys and girls against different types of cancer.”

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