News / Vancouver

HPV vaccine now free for grade 6 boys in B.C.

The vaccine protects against several forms of cancer

A nurse prepares a vaccination.

Dawn Madura / The Associated Press

A nurse prepares a vaccination.

Parents in B.C. can now immunize their sons against HPV for free, which will protect them against several forms of cancer.

Three out of four sexually active people will get Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at some point in their lives, according to Vancouver Coastal Health. The virus can cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and throat cancer.

The HPV vaccine was previously only offered to grade six girls but starting this school year, boys of the same age will be offered the vaccine as well.

“Most people infected with HPV don’t show any symptoms and can pass the virus on to others without knowing it,” said Dr. Meena Dawar, medical health officer at Vancouver Coastal Health.

“Most often, an HPV infection will clear on its own but sometimes HPV won’t go away and cells infected with the virus can become cancerous.”

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