From the beginning of next year, 12 and 13-year-old boys in Guernsey and Alderney will join the girls in being offered the human papillomavirus vaccine, which could protect them from some cancers.
Local girls have been given the vaccine free of charge since 2008 to prevent a viral infection which can cause cervical, vaginal and other HPV-related cancers.
However, it has been found that the infection is also linked to around half of penile cancers as well as the majority of anal, throat, head and neck cancers in both sexes.
"I am delighted to announce the extension of the human papillomavirus vaccination to boys," said Health and Social Care President Deputy Heidi Soulsby. 'This aligns closely with our commitment to prevention and early intervention and will have a major impact on the incidence of HPV-related cancers in the future."
Pictured: File image.
HPV is considered to be responsible for three per cent of cancers.
Immunisation Lead Nurse for Health Visitors and School Nurses, Karen Belton, added: "From an operational point of view, we are planning on offering HPV vaccine to boys who will be in Year 8 in the 2019/2020 academic year.
"We are anticipating a high coverage rate, similar to what we have been experiencing with the previous HPV vaccine for girls."
Locally, more than 90% of teenage girls in Guernsey and Alderney are vaccinated against the virus.
It will be offered as part of the school immunisation programme and is scheduled to be available to boys from January next year.
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