Boys to also receive HPV vaccine

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Minister of Public Heath Volda Lawrence has announced that boys will now be able to receive the Human Papillomavirus vaccines.

Girls were the first to start receiving the vaccines in 2012.

The Minister made the announcement at an event held at the Pegasus Hotel Monday, where a number of key health officials from around the country were in attendance.

“This will be done in all regions, and I trust that each one of us will become an advocate that will speak to people where ever we go, whether it’s in our Churches, our Mosques, our Temples, our clubs, our homes.

“Let us talk to our young people, let us talk to our parents and educate them as to what we are doing.” Minister Lawrence added.

The Minister said some parents have come forward asking that the HPV vaccine is given to both boys and girls. She said cancer is rampant in Guyana and it is with this in mind her Ministry has decided to have young people vaccinated.

“No, we are not trying to stop our girls from having children in the future but rather we’re trying to stop them from having cancer.

“We all of us have to intensify, educate and protect our young assets, they must have that chance to live healthy lifestyles.”

The Minister said they will not force any child to accept the vaccine but said that they all must understand that it is in their best interest that they take it.

According to the Center for Disease Control, HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses.

Men and women can get cancer of mouth/ throat, and anus/rectum caused by HPV infections.

Men can also get penile HPV cancer. In women, HPV infection can also cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar HPV cancers.

The Center for Disease Control said the HPV vaccine is recommended for young women up to age 26, and young men up to age 21.

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