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Human papilloma virus vaccination programme will target men

Targetted vaccination programme to begin in Scotland following JCVI recommendation

The Scottish government will extend its human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme to include men who have sex with men (MSM), it announced this week.

This will be a targeted programme covering men aged 16-45 who attend genito-urinary medicine (GUM) and HIV clinics.

The decision comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the organisation that advises governments on vaccination policy, recommended that this patient group is vaccinated.

The JCVI recommended in November that it's ‘highly likely that a programme to vaccinate MSM up to 40 years of age attending GUM and HIV clinics would be cost-effective, as long as the vaccine is procured and the programme is delivered at a cost-effective price.’

The vaccination provides the best protection against some forms of HPV which can cause cancer.

The JCVI said it was reasonable to extrapolate the findings to those MSM aged 45, ‘although there is too much uncertainty to extrapolate further.’

NHS Wales accepted the recommendation in December, but the Department of Health in England and the Department of Health, Social Security and Public Safety in Northern Ireland are yet to make a decision.

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