Time running out for free cancer vaccine for older boys

Friday 25 September, 2015

Boys urged to protect themselves from HPV-related male cancers and genital warts

Time is running out for older Victorian boys to access the free HPV vaccine, warns Cancer Council Victoria.

Victorian boys aged 16 and under must get in quick to begin or finish their HPV vaccinations with their doctor or local council, as the limited-time opportunity ends on 31 December 2015.

The HPV vaccine works best if given before the person starts sexual activity. Three doses of the vaccine are needed for best protection.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a common virus that can cause some cancers in both men and women. The HPV vaccine has huge short and long term benefits for males and females, providing protection against genital warts, as well as cervical, penile, anal, vulva and vaginal cancers.

According to the Victorian Government, this opportunity enables boys who have missed out on the HPV vaccine as part of the schools program to start or catch-up on missed doses for free. This opportunity is in addition to the continuing free school-based immunisation program for Victorian Year 7 boys and girls.

Kate Broun, Cancer Screening Manager at Cancer Council Victoria warns that if eligible boys miss this opportunity, they will have to pay for the full vaccination course out-of-pocket in order to give themselves the best chance of HPV protection.

“Victorian boys aged 16 and under who want to take this limited-time opportunity should contact their GP or local council right away to meet the 31 December deadline for the free offer.

“If you were to miss the free vaccination programs and wanted to receive the HPV vaccine, it would cost you $150 per dose out-of-pocket,” said Ms Broun.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • The Victorian government catch-up program provides free vaccination to boys aged 16 and under who have not started or finished the Gardasil HPV vaccine.
  • The catch-up program is only offered at doctor’s clinics or local councils.
  • Boys and girls in Year 7 will continue to receive the HPV vaccine for free through the ongoing school-based immunisation program.
  • If you’re unsure your child has had the HPV vaccine, or completed all three doses, call the HPV register on 1800 478 734.
  • For more information on the vaccine visit www.hpvvaccine.org.au or call Cancer Council Victoria on 13 11 20.

 

Updated: 25 Sep, 2015