Adults must be vaccinated against carcinogenic HPV to & # 39; thousands & # 39; save lives, scientists claim
- Top scientists say that adults should receive the HPV vaccine as well as children
- Teenage girls aged 12 and 13 were vaccinated against sexually transmitted HPV
- Ministers agreed last year to extend the HPV vaccination to teenage boys
Adults need to be vaccinated against the carcinogenic human papillomavirus to save "thousands" more lives, experts say.
12 and 13-year-olds are currently being vaccinated against sexually transmitted HPV, causing a range of diseases, including cervical and throat cancer, believing that the vaccine works best in people who do not yet have the virus.
But top scientists say there is now evidence that giving the shot to those who already have HPV, such as 80 percent of adults, is likely to protect them.
Every year around 2,200 people die in Britain from HPV-related cancer, 70 percent of whom are women. Adults must be vaccinated against the carcinogenic human papillomavirus to & # 39; thousands & # 39; save more lives, experts say (file photo)
The vaccine produces a powerful immune response in people with HPV that prevents existing virus particles from spreading in the body and being transferred to sexual partners.
Last night Professor Margaret Stanley of Cambridge University, president of the International Papilloma Virus Society said: "Most people don't realize that HPV infection is a global epidemic. The easiest way to prevent the spread of this virus and the diseases it causes is to give everyone a vaccination. & # 39;
So how can you get the shot?
The vaccine is not available to adults on the NHS – if they want it, they have to pay for it.
Pharmacies, including Boots and Lloyds, offer a three-jab course of the Gardasil 9 vaccine that protects against seven carcinogenic strains and two responsible for genital warts.
Boots costs £ 475 for the course, Lloyds £ 429. Due to the current license terms, Gardasil can only be given to people under the age of 45.
All 12 or 13 year old school children (11 to 12 years in Scotland) are eligible for a free course with two injections of the HPV vaccine Gardasil 4.
Every year around 2,200 people die in Britain from HPV-related cancer, 70 percent of whom are women.
Cervical cancer is responsible for the largest number of those deaths – around 850 – so that the vaccine was given to teenage girls only for years.
Last year, following a six-month campaign by The Mail on Sunday, ministers agreed to extend vaccination to teenage boys.
The number of HPV-related cancers from other infection sites such as the head, neck, throat, anus and penis is growing rapidly as a result of changing sexual behavior.
Prof. Stanley said that these cancers often came to the fore when people were in their 60s and their immune systems began to weaken. This allowed the latent HPV virus to break out and cause tumors.
For decades it can lie hidden and detect detection so successfully that the immune system hardly produces antibodies to fight it.
According to a paper soon to be published in the International Journal Of Infectious Diseases, research has shown that vaccination of adults with HPV can cause a "high immune response" that is ten to 100 times stronger than that caused by natural infection.
Legions of newly created antibodies then suppress HPV in such a way that it becomes almost impossible for the wearer to pass on the infection.
Xavier Bosch, the cancer doctor who first proved that HPV causes cancer, said the vaccine & # 39; protects adults & # 39; adds: & # 39; People have the right to know. & # 39;
Top scientists say there is now evidence that giving the injection to those who already have HPV, such as 80 percent of adults, is likely to protect them. The HPV virus is pictured above in an image
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