By Helen Branswell/The Canadian Press
A group representing women doctors in Canada is calling on provincial governments to pay for HPV vaccine for boys.
The Federation of Medical Women of Canada said vaccinating girls only isn’t fair, and it isn’t using the vaccine to its maximum advantage.
“Both sexes contribute to the transmission of HPV. Both sexes are at risk of developing a variety of HPV-related diseases – including cancer. So it follows that both sexes should be protected. But currently, that’s not the case,” Dr. Vivien Brown, Toronto branch president, said on behalf of the organization.
Brown’s comments were contained in a statement the federation released Tuesday.
A federal government expert panel recently ruled there is strong evidence for use of the HPV vaccine Gardasil in boys and young men aged nine to 26. The group also said there is strong evidence for its use in males who have sex with other males. Nine is the minimum age for which the vaccine is approved for either gender.
The vaccine has been used for girls in Canada for several years, though acceptance rates have been lower than public health officials would have liked.