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Papilomavirus: boys' vaccinations will be free immediately in the next school year

A study by the Federal Center of Expertise in Health Care (KCE) confirms the need to extend the vaccine to young boys. By the start of the school year 2019, all young people between the ages of 9 and 14 may be vaccinated. HPV is responsible for over 1,000 new cases of cancer each year.

Psometimes known as papillomavirus, HPV is extremely portable; Oral or sexual contact is enough. It is estimated that over 80% of sexually active people are infected with this virus one day in their lives.

Infections to the left or twice: HPV may disappear itself … or cause several types of cancer. Every year, more than 1,000 new cases of cancer are caused by human papillomavirus: cervical cancer (the most common), but also cancer of the vagina, vulva, mouth, penis and anus. Because they have been growing for the last two years, they need to vaccinate young men.

In 2017, the Federal Center for Healthcare Expertise (KCE) recommended that Belgium monitor the example of other Western countries by extending its vaccinations to all young people, boys and girls, from the age of 9 – and from 2011 onwards in the Walloon-Brussels Federation benefit only girls aged 12-14.

Based on this recommendation, federated entities were entrusted to KCE to measure the impact of such a measure. Its results, which were published today, put together: including young boys in vaccinated against HPV, is effective, both clinically and economically.

A vaccine for everyone from the beginning of the 2019 season

In fact, according to the KCE, the extension of vaccinations in young boys represents a "Favorable cost-effectiveness ratio" in the prevention of most precancerous lesions caused by HPV (the conclusion valid for the three available vaccines on the market). A positive result, particularly in regions where there is a low rate of vaccinating a girl, as in French-speaking Belgium; while Flanders is vaccinated with 91% of girls aged 12-14, in the Walloon-Brussels Federation it is only 36%!

From a purely economic point of view, however, two independent studies (among the fifteen economic evaluations studied by the KCE in total) emphasize that improving current coverage for girls would be more beneficial than augmentation of vaccinations to boys. , Conclusion "It does not take gender issues into account", according to the KCE, which points out that HPV-related cancers are increasing in men, especially in non-gay men "Indirect protection" offered by vaccinated women. Extending such a vaccine may also be considered a way of sharing responsibility for prevention among boys and girls.

Informed already in October, the first conclusions of the KCE, the Flemish Community and the Walloon-Brussels Federation have since decided: free vaccination against HPV will be extended to all young people, boys and girls, between 9 and 14 years of age.

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