Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (474)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

474. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the extension of the existing national HPV vaccination programme to boys. [30513/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) made a recommendation that the HPV vaccine should be given to boys. As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection. On foot of NIAC’s recommendation, my Department asked the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake a health technology assessment (HTA) in relation to extending the national immunisation schedule to include human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination of boys in first year of secondary school.

HIQA completed the HTA in December 2018, recommending that the HPV immunisation programme be extended to include boys. A policy decision has been made to extend the HPV immunisation programme to include boys starting in September 2019 with the introduction of a 9-valent HPV vaccine. The HSE National Immunisation Office has developed information materials and a communication strategy for a gender neutral HPV programme which will be available for parents and healthcare professionals in advance of the start of the gender neutral programme.