HPV vaccination programme extended to boys from this week

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The first Dutch boys to be offered a vaccination against cancer-causing HPV viruses will be invited to make an appointment this week.

The government decided in 2019 to extend its vaccination programme to all children and lower the vaccination age to the year in which they turn 10. Girls have been vaccinated since 2010.

‘The vaccine works best if administered before someone comes into contact with the virus,’ the public health institute RIVM said. ‘And by lowering the age to 10, children will be better protected against HPV infections and the effect of the vaccine is maximised.’

HPV infections can spread through any skin-to-skin contact and four in five people are likely to become infected at some point in their lives.

Each year an estimated 1,000 women and 400 men get cancer through carcinogenic strains of the virus and more than 300 women and almost 200 men die from related disease.

The HPV vaccination is part of the national vaccination programme.

All 12 to 18-year-olds who have not yet been vaccinated against HPV will also be offered the chance to catch up, public health institute RIVM said.

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