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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