Hospital: Boys should get HPV vaccine, too

Researchers at the VU Medical Center think that boys should also be vaccinated against the HPV virus. Currently only girls are vaccinated against this virus, which causes cervical cancer.

According to a study done by these researchers, the vaccination will also benefit boys as the virus also causes cancer in the throat and erogenous zones such as the anus and penis. These type of cancers are less common, but still common enough to make vaccinating boys worthwhile.

The results for vaccinating boys is less favorable than for vaccinating girls. For every 800 boys that are vaccinated, one case of cancer is prevented, according to the study. For girls, one case of cancer is prevented for every 200 girls vaccinated. But according to VUMC, the expected health benefits are still significant enough to suggest that the HPV vaccination program should no longer be solely focused on girls and women.

Last month virologist Ab Osterhaus also pleaded to have boys vaccinated against the virus.

NU reports that the VUMC's proposal is currently with the Health Council, which advises Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health.