Papillomavirus and cancers: should we extend vaccination to boys in France?

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Abstract

Background

In 2006, the HPV (Human papillomavirus) 6/11/16/18 quadrivalent vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency and obtained its marketing authorization in both girls and boys. Currently, the French guidelines recommend and refund vaccination of girls aged 11 to 14 with a catch-up program for females from 15 to 19 years old.

Discussion

In France, HPV vaccination coverage tends to decrease. At the end of 2015, the vaccination coverage with three doses reached only 14% in 16-year-old girls (three doses). Although men are also affected by HPV-related diseases such as anal cancer, ano-genital warts, penile cancer or upper aerodigestive tract cancer, vaccine recommendations in France are for girls only. To face the high prevalence of anal cancer and related diseases, the best option is vaccination. Moreover, by offering men a way to prevent diseases against which they do not have any protection yet, universal vaccination could better take into account the ethical issues of prevention. In this paper, we present the point of view of different medical specialties concerning the potential benefit of extending vaccination to boys.

Conclusion

HPV vaccination of both genders could benefit from a better public acceptance and contribute to a better coverage, especially in countries with low vaccination rates.

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