British Dental Association backs bid for HPV Action Coalition campaigning for vaccinations for boys.
The BDA is fighting for the UK vaccination programme to offer equal gender opportunities for vaccinations for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
“HPV vaccinations should be made available to adolescent boys as well as girls,” the HPV Action coalition stated. The British Dental Association is now part of the HPV Action coalition; this coalition is made up of 44 organisations that are actively trying to get the vaccination extended to adolescent boys as well as girls.
Many people believe that the HPV vaccination is only beneficial to females; however, it has protection against HPV related cancers for males also. HPV is common for both men and women. Every year, cancers that have been a result of HPV infections that don’t go away affect over 9,000 males. HPV can cause cancers of the anus, mouth/throat (oropharynx), and penis in males. Cases of anal cancer and cancers of the throat and mouth are on the rise. It is possible that if the current increase continues, that the number of these cases will be expected to overtake the number of annual cervical cancer cases by 2020.
The recommended age for HPV injections in adolescent boys is 11 or 12 years old. This age provides a high immune response and it must be given before exposure to the virus for it to be effective in its prevention measures. It has been found that the cause of 5% of all cancer cases is HPV, urging the BDA to encourage the dental profession to support HPV Action’s calls. Chair of the British Dental Association, Russ Ladwa, said.
“Dentists are on the front line in the battle against oral cancer, the condition is now the 10th most common cancer among men and the government can and should be doing more to prevent the condition.”
“The failure to provide a gender neutral programme is unfair to boys and is costing lives.”
“It’s vital health professionals speak with one voice on this life and death issue.”
To mark European Immunisation Week, running between from the 24th to the 30th of April, HPV Action are arranging what they are calling a Thunderclap. They want dental professionals to echo their mission to extend the HPV vaccine to boys through social media. The platform that social media provides allows like-minded people to band together to relay a common goal, and that’s HPV’ Actions’ intention. Russ Ladwa concluded by saying:
“We ask all colleagues to help by supporting this Thunderclap, so we continue building momentum behind this vital campaign.”
If you want to participate in the Thurderclap, be sure to make your opinion heard!