CBC.ca (04.15.12) - Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Provinces should expand their free human papillomavirus (HPV)
vaccine programs to cover boys as well as girls, the Canadian
Cancer Advocacy Coalition recently recommended. "Now is the
time for governments to apply universal vaccine coverage for
our boys and our girls to protect them from disease in the
future," said a CCAC report.
Province-based programs have provided free HPV vaccination for
girls for nearly five years. In 2010, Health Canada expanded
approval of the Gardasil HPV vaccine for use in males; another
vaccine, Cervarix, is approved only for females. Then in
January, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization
(NACI) recommended HPV vaccination for males ages nine to 25.
Dr. Marina Salvadori, the Canadian Pediatric Society's
representative to NACI, currently advises parents to buy the
HPV vaccine for their sons. However, she said governments
could purchase larger quantities of the vaccine more cheaply,
offering "good bang for the health care buck." "The thought is
if we vaccinate men, that will contribute to protecting women
as well. So they don't spread the viruses to each other, both
groups are protected from cancer and it's a win-win all
Health officials in several provinces say they are reviewing
whether to include males in their HPV vaccination programs.