'Jabs for the boys': time to deliver on HPV vaccination recommendations

Samuel W D Merriel*, Tom Nadarzynski, Jo Kesten, Carrie Flannagan, Gillian Prue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programmes in the UK were established in 2008, and targeted females aged 12–13 years. This decision was based on recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), after assessing the available evidence for the impact and cost effectiveness of HPV vaccination programmes. The theory was that reducing HPV rates in females would result in lower infection rates in males of a similar age. This herd immunity did not extend to men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) or heterosexual men having sex abroad. Public Health England (PHE) undertook a trial of a targeted HPV vaccination programme for MSM in 2016–2017. The 12-month pilot involved MSM up to 45 years of age being offered Gardasil® 4, a quadrivalent HPV vaccine, through genitourinary medicine (GUM) and HIV clinics across England. GPs were not included in the pilot as there was insufficient evidence of acceptability and effective delivery. The pilot was reported as a success, and PHE has recommended rolling out this programme across England.1 The JCVI issued an interim statement regarding extending HPV immunisation to adolescent males in July 2017, again concluding that there was insufficient evidence for benefit in males.2 However, after strong responses through stakeholder consultations, continued pressure from lobby groups such as HPV Action (www.hpvaction.org), and further analysis of the latest research, the JCVI recently (18 July 2018) recommended extending the HPV vaccination programme to adolescent males.3
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-407
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number674
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


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