Anti-HPV jab will be given to teenage boys… but only if they identify as girls so that ‘they fit in with their peers’
- For past decade girls have been vaccinated against HPV infection on the NHS
- Now the lifesaving cancer vaccine will be offered to boys who identify as girls
- Vaccine protects against human papillomavirus which causes various cancers
The NHS will give a lifesaving cancer vaccine to teenage boys – but only if they ‘identify’ as girls, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
New official advice makes clear that transgender girls – that is, those born male – will be offered the Gardasil jab so they fit in with ‘their peers’.
However, boys will continue to be denied the vaccine, which protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer among other forms of the disease.
New official advice makes clear that transgender girls – that is, those born male – will be offered the Gardasil jab so they fit in with ‘their peers’
Currently, all girls are offered the jab free on the NHS between the ages of 12 and 18.
Last night, the move to extend the vaccination programme to transgender boys was criticised as ‘completely wrong’ and an example of ‘medical discrimination’.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, of parents’ group Transgender Trend, which is concerned about the rising number of children being diagnosed as transgender, said: ‘It is wrong that one set of males should have it, while others can’t. It’s a form of discrimination against boys who identify as boys.’
The Public Health England document states its HPV policy is being ‘amended to include immunisation of transgender boys and transgender girls’.
It explains that ‘transgender boys’ – those born female – ‘should be offered the vaccination to mitigate their risk of cervical cancer’.
By contrast, it gives a social rather than a medical reason for offering it to transgender girls – those born male – simply stating: ‘Transgender girls may be offered vaccination with their peers.’
For the past decade, girls but not boys have been vaccinated against HPV infection on the NHS.
This is because historically more females have suffered from HPV-related cancers than males, as it causes the majority of cervical cancers.
About 1,500 women die annually in Britain from HPV-related cancers, including around 1,000 from cervical cancer.
The virus is spread by sex, intimate contact and kissing. Yet HPV kills some 650 men a year, mainly due to oral cancers.
While cervical cancer deaths are slowly declining, the number of HPV-related cancers in men is rising fast.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has argued inoculating boys would not be cost-effective, as most would be protected anyway as a by-product of female vaccination. On Wednesday, the JCVI will discuss the matter again.
The Mail on Sunday has been campaigning to end the vaccine apartheid.
Last week, we revealed how the Throat Cancer Foundation has launched legal action against Jeremy Hunt to force the Health Secretary to end the policy of giving jabs to girls only.
Public Health England declined to explain why it was extending the jab to boys who identified as girls, but not to others.
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