HPV vaccine programme for boys 'to be rolled out' from September 9 months ago

HPV vaccine programme for boys 'to be rolled out' from September

An HPV vaccination programme for boys will reportedly proceed from September 2019.

The HPV vaccine is currently given to all secondary school girls in their first year of school.

The vaccine protects against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which can lead to cervical cancer in women, but the infection can also cause penile, anal and oropharyngeal cancers in men.

The Irish Times note there had been some confusion as to if the programme would proceed due to staffing and recruitment issues.

On Friday, the HSE issued a statement confirming the programme would be go ahead as planned in September.

The Irish Medical Organisation, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and Fórsa, representing public service health workers, said in a joint statement that they were "fully committed" to making sure the vaccination programme is rolled out as planned.

The statement noted "there is an issue in respect of adequate staff numbers to provide the extension," adding:

“The HSE must concentrate on bringing forward realistic proposals to ensure the programmes can roll out."

They added that this can be addressed by optioning Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) talks.

Phil Ni Sheaghdha, general secretary of the INMO, said:

“This vaccine extension certainly can roll out, but it requires additional staffing, rather than reductions in the workforce."

Meanwhile, Dr Lucy Jessop, director of the National Immunisation Office said it is “progressing arrangements to commence the extension of the HPV vaccine programme to boys in First Year from September 2019."

"Staff representative associations are fully supportive of this important health initiative,” she said.