Beginning this September, British Columbia will become the latest province to provide the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to boys as part of the province’s publicly funded immunization program.
Minister of Health Terry Lake made the announcement Friday and says that they’ve targeted the program to Grade 6 girls and now Grade 6 boys to better promote the broad coverage needed for effective herd immunity.
He says that the vaccine is most effective when administered before a child is first exposed to the virus and will help protect them from HPV related cancers and other serious health problems.
3 out of 4 sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives, and although it most often clears up on its own, cells infected with the virus can become cancerous over time.
It’s estimated that the vaccine could prevent up to 90% of HPV caused cancers including cervical.