Boys 'should be given jab' in bid to prevent cancer

Schoolboys should be vaccinated against a virus to help protect them from some types of cancer, a group of health organisations said.

Schoolboys 'should be vaccinated' against human papilloma virus. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The HPV jab should be used to protect against the human papilloma virus - which has been linked to a number of cancers including oral cancer.

In 2008, the HPV vaccination programme was launched in England for girls aged 12-13 to help prevent cervical cancer.

HPV Action, a group representing 25 patient and professional bodies, is calling for the vaccine to now be extended to boys and said the virus is a "real and rapidly growing health threat to UK men".

A poll of 1,300 British parents found that 64% were in favour of the vaccine being offered to boys and the organisation estimates it would cost £24 million a year for a programme including 367,000 boys.