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The HPV vaccine protects against different types of human papillomavirus (HPV), including types that can cause cancer.
The NHS HPV vaccination programme in schools started in 2008 and was only offered to girls. It was thought that this would also be of enough benefit to boys, as they would be protected indirectly thanks to girls being vaccinated (sometimes called herd protection).
In 2018, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises UK health departments on immunisation, decided the HPV vaccine should also be offered to boys.
The evidence shows that offering boys the HPV vaccine will help protect against a number of HPV-related cancers and conditions, including head and neck (oropharyngeal) cancers, penile cancer and anal cancer, as well as genital warts. It will also strengthen herd protection – this means helping protect anyone who is not vaccinated or is has not had all the doses.
If you have questions about HPV or the HPV vaccine, you can ask your question to our panel of experts.
Has information about how HPV (human papillomavirus) affects boys and men, and offers guidance on the HPV vaccine.