Sydney Morning Herald (12.17.11) - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee is
recommending that all teenage boys receive the Gardasil
vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) - the cause of
genital warts, most cases of cervical cancer, and some oral
and anal cancers.
Vaccinating boys against HPV would cost-effective, the
committee said, providing wider immunity and further reducing
the risk to females. Already, Gardasil vaccinations have
slashed by around one-half the number of new cervical cancer
cases, which currently stands at about 700 per year. The
country annually logs about 400 cases of anal or oral cancer
linked to the virus.
On Dec. 16, the federal government said it would consider the
committee's recommendation to offer Gardasil to boys ages 12-
13 and as a catch up for those in the 14-15 age group. The
initial cost of administering the vaccine to all girls age 13
and a catch-up program for older girls was around $450 million
(US $454 million) over four years. If the vaccination program
for boys is approved, for logistical reasons it would not be
expected to start until after next year. A Department of
Health spokesperson said certain steps must be taken before a
listing of Gardasil for boys is finalized, including pricing
agreements and guarantees of supply.