Human Papillomavirus: Five reasons why children should also be vaccinated against HPV

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a highly contagious sexually transmitted virus that affects 90% of the population at some point in their lives. In the case of women it can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva; and in men it produces cancer of the penis, anus, among others.

“The vaccine has a very high level of efficacy, about 95%, and helps prevent some types of cancer. Parents should have concise and brief information about the importance of the HPV vaccine, which should be applied to girls and in parallel to boys. Thus, we consider it essential that there be leadership from the Ministry so that this action is implemented and executed as soon as possible,” said Raúl Urquizo, dean of the Medical College of Peru.

In Peru, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) vaccinates girls and adolescents between 9 and 13 years of age free of charge. However, MINSA has not yet updated the Technical Health Standard that also includes children in the national HPV vaccination schedule and they are vaccinated for free.

In that context, learn the reasons why it is important for children to also be vaccinated against HPV:

1. It will reduce cervical cancer in women and prevent cancer of the anus, penis, head and neck in men

In 2021, there were 4,270 new cases of cervical cancer and 2,288 deaths from this neoplasm, which is preventable with the aforementioned vaccine.

2. Fairness:

Vaccination for boys and girls alike. Men are transmitters of the virus and can also be directly affected by it. In this sense, all boys should be immunized free of charge just like girls.

3. There is already a standard that indicates it

The regulations of the National Cancer Law published provide for the updating of the Technical Health Standard on immunizations in order to incorporate the inoculation of children against HPV into the national vaccination scheme.

4. It will be a saving for the Peruvian State in the long term

With the inoculation of the vaccine, the expense in the care and treatment of this disease will be reduced, since so far this year S/ 2,558,331,498 have been disbursed for the care and treatment of the different types of cancer. While only 293,591,004 have been executed for prevention, among which is vaccination against HPV.

5. Other countries already apply the vaccine

In the countries of the region such as Colombia, Argentina, Panama and Chile, the HPV vaccine is already applied to boys and girls equally. In the world, there are more than 40 countries that are already committed to equitable access to a right to health for children and adolescents.

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