Health starts vaccinating 12-year-old male adolescents in the Balearic Islands against the human papillomavirus.

Feb 7, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

It is estimated that more than 6,800 boys will be able to benefit from this service.

The human papillomavirus

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The Regional Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs has already begun the process to vaccinate 12-year-old male adolescents, i.e. all those born in 2011, against the human papillomavirus. It is estimated that more than 6,800 adolescents will benefit from this service. It should be recalled that until now only girls were vaccinated. 655,200 euros will be allocated to the purchase of these vaccines for this group this year.

On 20 October 2022, the Public Health Commission of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System, after analysing the technical document drawn up by the working group on vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) of the Vaccination Programme and Registry, decided to include the HPV vaccine for male adolescents in the vaccination programmes of the Autonomous Communities. This extends the HPV vaccination from female to male.

The Directorate General for Public Health and Participation has therefore issued an instruction to include all adolescents aged 12 years in the HPV vaccination programme. The first male cohort to be included is the one born in 2011.

Vaccination of boys will start as soon as the doses provided by the Directorate General for Public Health and Participation are distributed to the vaccination centres, according to the usual schedule.

It is also planned to continue to recapture adolescent girls and young women up to 26 years of age.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that mainly affects the skin and mucous membranes. So far, more than 150 different types of HPV have been identified and twelve are considered to be carcinogenic.

Depending on the type of virus, they can cause skin warts, genital warts and some types of cancer, mainly cervical cancer (also called cervix cancer), and in much smaller proportions, cancer of the vagina, anus, penis, mouth or larynx. Most infections pass without symptoms and disappear spontaneously within a variable period of up to 2 years. Those that persist beyond 2 years are most often associated with precancerous lesions.

The most effective way to prevent HPV infection is vaccination. Condoms prevent many HPV infections, although they are not fully effective because HPV infection spreads throughout the genital area and condoms only protect part of it. Nevertheless, condoms should always be used, as they also prevent pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections.

Women are the main victims of cancers caused by HPV. Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, especially in young women.