Our colleagues at HPV Action have carried out a survey to coincide with World Immunization Week.  The results reveal overwhelming support for all boys to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, (HPV).

97% of dentists and 94% of GPs would have their own sons vaccinated against HPV. 

97% of dentists and 94% of GPs believe that the national HPV vaccination programme should cover both boys and girls.

95% of GPs and dentists together said if they had a son they would want him to receive the HPV vaccination.

The findings come as the Government’s vaccination advisory committee (JCVI) moves towards a decision on whether boys should be given the HPV vaccination.

Many doctors, dentists, scientists, professional and patient organisations who support the vaccination of both sexes are concerned that the JCVI will reject universal coverage on the grounds of cost despite the vaccination’s ability to protect against 5% of all cancers and the huge cost of treating HPV-related cancers.

It is estimated that vaccinating boys would cost £20-22m a year at most, a figure that is dwarfed by the cost of treating HPV related cancers and warts. An estimated £57.1 million is spent treating head and neck cancer (in England), almost £7 million on treating men with anal cancer and an estimated £58.44 million a year treating anogenital warts.

As well as cost, the main argument used against vaccinating boys is that the girls’ programme indirectly protects boys. However, this has been widely dismissed because it fails to take into account men who have sex with unvaccinated women (from the UK and other countries) or men who have sex with men.

The Survey was carried out using Survey Monkey and valid responses were received from 1,667 GPs and dentists. 995 GPs (60%) and 672 dentists (40%) replied.

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