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<p dir=”ltr”><span>HPV is a group of over 200 viruses which can infect skin and mucous membranes. Some strains of HPV cause cancer, including pre-cancer. These include cancer of the cervix in women, other ano-genital cancers in men and women and cancers of the head and neck in men and women. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer caused by HPV. </span>
<p dir=”ltr”><span>The vaccine is safe and effective. </span>The vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. A HIQA report has recommended the extension of the existing school-based HPV programme to include boys.
<p dir=”ltr”><span>Dr Ina Kelly, Chairperson of the IMO Community & Public Health Medicine Committee </span><span>says that the “extension of the programme to boys has the capacity to significantly reduce incidence of HPV related cancers, through adding stronger community protection from this cancer-causing infection.”</span>
<p dir=”ltr”><span>Since 2010 the HPV vaccination has been offered to all girls in first year of secondary school or equivalent and a catch up programme was offered to all sixth year girls or equivalent between 2011 and 2014. This programme is delivered by HSE vaccination teams, led by Community Medical Doctors</span>
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