Intended for healthcare professionals


HPV: WHO calls for countries to suspend vaccination of boys

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 02 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6765
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. London, UK

The World Health Organization is calling on countries that are vaccinating boys against the human papillomavirus (HPV) to suspend these programmes until all girls who need the vaccine can get it.

The recommendations from WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunisation (SAGE), come just months after the UK began immunising boys aged 12-13 against the virus.

“SAGE was deeply concerned that the current HPV vaccine shortage could result in failure to introduce or sustain programmes in some countries, particularly those with a high burden of cervical cancer,” the group said in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record of 22 November.1

HPV causes most cases of cervical cancer and the vaccine, first introduced in the US in 2006, has proven so effective that …

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