Jeremy Hunt faces fresh calls to vaccinate teenage boys against HPV

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is facing fresh calls to start vaccinating teenage boys against human papilloma virus (HPV), the cause of Britain’s fastest-growing form of cancer, amid the first signs the NHS may be about to change its policy.

Last week, Tory peer Baroness Altmann backed the pro-vaccination campaign run by this newspaper by raising the issue in the House of Lords.

Supported by colleagues including Lord Patel, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Men’s Health, she told Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy that the only way to protect men ‘is to vaccinate them before they become sexually active, as they already do in many countries… rather than leaving them vulnerable to potentially fatal cancers when it will be too late’.

As the MoS has revealed, HPV – spread by sexual contact and kissing – causes thousands of devastating tumours every year, many in the head and neck which, in men, is the fourth most common type of cancer. But although girls aged 12 and 13 have been vaccinated on the NHS since 2008, because it also causes cervical cancer, vaccinating boys is not considered ‘cost-effective’.

The vaccine, which costs less than £40 for a two-dose course, grants total protection, and our campaign is backed by health organisations and

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