26 Oct 2011

More talk needed on Gardasil for boys

11:42 am on 26 October 2011

An immunisation expert says discussion needs to continue in New Zealand over whether the Gardasil vaccine should be funded for boys.

United States vaccine advisers say boys should be routinely vaccinated against the human papillomavirus to protect them from oral, anal and penile cancers.

They recommend routine use of Gardasil in 11 and 12 year old boys to fight the sexually transmitted virus.

Gardasil is funded for girls in New Zealand, but not for boys.

Immunisation Advisory Centre head Nikki Turner says there's debate internationally about whether boys should have it.

She says there's some evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccine in boys, particularly in reducing genital warts, but many factors would have to be discussed before a decision was made to put it on the national immunisation programme.