HPV vaccination and the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer: two steps forward and one to the side?

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In September 2014 the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended a small extension to the provision of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination beyond girls aged 12-13 years. This applied to men who have sex with men and shows a limited receptiveness to existing evidence in relation to the concept of ‘herd protection’ as well as the increasing incidence of HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer (in both sexes, but men more than women) and anal cancer (in both sexes but particularly in women).

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