More children are getting the HPV vaccine - should boys be next?
The HSE has reported an increase in HPV vaccination rates.
According to the latest figures, two in every three girls are now protected against more cervical cancers as the uptake levels for the HPV vaccine rises to 65 percent.
The latest figures show a 15 percent increase in comparison to last year, after a drop in the national uptake the year previous.
The vaccine is currently being administered to first-year girls in secondary schools through the HSE’s school programme.
Last month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that the government had plans to extend the programme to boys in 2019 due to the “considerable health benefits” associated with the vaccine.
That was echoed today by Minister for Health Simon Harris who said that extending the programme to boys was a priority, once a favourable recommendation is given by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
They are expected to give their recommendation to the health minister later this year.
The vaccine protects against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which can lead to cervical cancer in women, but the infection can also cause penile, anal and oropharyngeal cancers in men.
Both girls and boys in countries including Austria, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US are already offered HPV vaccines by the state.