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Human papillomavirus vaccine in boys: background rates of potential adverse events

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Cervical cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in developing countries. It is caused by persistent infection with specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV).1 Quadrivalent human papillomavirus (4vHPV) vaccine is a recombinant vaccine administered as a three-dose course to provide protection against four types of HPV (6, 11, 16 and 18).2 The vaccine is highly efficacious for the four included types, of which 16 and 18 are reported to cause 70% of cervical cancers and 6 and 11 cause anogenital warts.1,3 4vHPV vaccination was introduced under the Australian National Immunisation Program (NIP) in April 2007 for adolescent girls, with an initial catch-up program including women up to 26 years of age. The current ongoing funded program is only for girls in the first year of high school (aged 12–13 years). Recent data suggest that the 4vHPV vaccination program has caused a rapid decline in genital wart presentations in females,4,5 and there are early indications of a reduction in high-grade cervical dysplasias.