Upgrade Down Under: Australian Boys Will Get Free Gardasil Vaccinations

After years of only vaccinating young women and girls, the Australian National Immunisation Program will begin covering Gardasil for 12 and 13 year-old boys. The Gardasil vaccine protects against four strains of the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) – two that cause 70% of cervical cancers and two that cause 90% of genital warts. The types that cause cervical cancer can also cause penile and anal cancers in men, but because those cancers are rarer than the cervical types, girls have been prioritized for vaccine delivery. However, many public health advocates have argued for giving the vaccine to boys not only because sexually active men can get genital warts, but also to prevent them from spreading the cancer-causing strains to young women.

Will other countries follow suit?

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About Kate McCombs

Kate McCombs

Kate McCombs, MPH is a NYC-based sex educator + blogger. She's the founder of Sex Geekdom, a global community for sex educators, researchers, and other folks who love having geeky conversations about sex.

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    I’m not sure about this, I think the money would be better spent in the long run on education and awareness rather than vaccination. We’re too quick to pump things into our bodies when explaining the risks to people and encouraging early diagnosis would lead to long term results rather than this hap-hazard approach. And there have been several instances of vaccines being the cause of other things later in life. We will never eradicate things in this way, but educating the population about the most dangerous viruses would last through more than one generation and probably be more effective.