Target: Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, Honorable Harry Frank Lewis
Goal: Praise the government of Prince Edward Island for providing public school-based HPV vaccinations for boys.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the genital human papillomavirus (HPV) afflicts nearly 79 million people within the United States. HPV can be transferred between any two people engaging in sexual activities with direct contact. Despite the fact that boys and girls can both get the virus, several health providers will only cover the costs of the vaccination for girls and since boys cannot develop cervical cancer. Since HPV is transmitted sexually, it is important to vaccinate both sexes in order to prevent the virus from spreading; and thus, boys should not be forced to pay the hefty costs of the vaccination. Canadian province Prince Edward Island recently expanded its public school funding for the vaccination to include boys. The province deserves to be praised for protecting boys from the virus, which will help prevent the virus from spreading unknowingly to girls.
HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts, and after the introduction of Gardasil, the only vaccine effective for both girls and boys, health experts have recommended children of both sexes to be vaccinated. Gardasil protects against four of the many strains of HPV, which can also be responsible for anal cancer, and vaginal and penile cancers. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended girls between the ages of nine and 26 in 2007 to get the vaccine. In 2012, the committee extended that recommendation to boys for the same age range.
“P.E.I.’s (Prince Edward Island) decision to include boys is an important milestone in protecting both males and females against the diseases that can result from HPV infection, such as genital warts and anal-genital cancers,” Dr. Mauricio Ede, medical director at Merck Canada, said. “Both males and females contribute to the spread of HPV and both develop diseases as a result of HPV infection.” Merck manufactures the Gardasil vaccine.
Although young boys and girls are recommended to get vaccinated against HPV, boys are still not getting the vaccine due to costs. The fact that the Canadian province will be one of the first provinces to implement a school-based program for boys as well as girls should be recognized.
Dear Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, Honorable Harry Frank Lewis,
I would like to commend Prince Edward Island in becoming one of the first provinces in Canada to expand the school based HPV (genital human papillomavirus) vaccinations to young boys. The program already provides free vaccinations for young girls while educating them about HPV. HPV afflicts over 79 million Americans, yet people are not that aware of this sexually transmitted infection.
HPV can cause cervical, vaginal, penile and anal cancers and painful genital warts. Both boys and girls can get the virus, yet since cervical cancer only occurs in women, the cost of the vaccine, Gardasil, is usually only covered for girls. However, since the virus is transmissible between boys and girls, both sexes should be vaccinated in order to prevent more cases of HPV from spreading, which is why providing the vaccine for boys free of cost is very important.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: en:User:Montrealais via Wikimedia Commons