Iain Curry

Boys missing out on Gardasil vax at risk of cancer

QUEENSLAND boys missing out on three doses of a life-saving vaccination are at risk of anal, penile and mouth/throat cancers.

Cancer Council Queensland said about 60% of boys were not completing the three courses of human papilloma virus vaccination Gardasil.

There is a rise in HPV-related cancers, including oropharyngeal cancers - of the back of the throat, tongue and tonsils, Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said.

"While 71% of young men received the first dose, rates fell to 67% and about 59% for doses two and three," she said.

"Taking preventive action against HPV is vital and could save a young person's life in years to come.

"The HPV vaccine has almost eliminated human papilloma virus in vaccinated Australians, protecting our next generation from cervical cancer."

Adolescent boys in Queensland can receive the full course of Gardasil free of charge if they have all three doses by the end of Year 11.

The State Government also has a school-based catch-up program for boys in Year 10 who have not started their course of three doses.

The vaccination is most effective if administered before a young person becomes sexually active.

Those eligible can also receive the vaccination through their GP.

National HPV Vaccination Program Register shows about 73% of girls under 15 had received the full course of Gardasil.

More information about the National HPV School Vaccination Program is available at hpv.health.gov.au.

- APN NEWSDESK



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