The Canadian Cancer Society has launched a new campaign calling on the B.C. government to expand the HPV vaccine to boys, as well as girls.
Currently in B.C., the HPV vaccine is publicly funded and available in school for all girls in Grade 6 across the province.
Currently, 69 per cent of girls are being vaccinated against the human papilloma virus, which is believed to cause 70 per cent of cases of cervical cancer in women.
The 31 per cent of girls who do not get the vaccination leave boys at risk of contracting the virus, a release from the society states.
Boys and young men who do not fall within the “increased risk” group must cover the cost themselves ($300 to $450).
“The HPV vaccine is a proven and effective way to prevent many different types of cancer, and yet here in B.C. we are leaving a significant number of our boys and young men vulnerable to disease,” said Jenny Byford, advocacy lead of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon, in a statement.
“We believe everyone should have equal and affordable access to the HPV vaccine to prevent cancer, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or social status.”
The group encourages all parents to have their children vaccinated and asks Fraser Valley residents to go to takeaction.cancer.ca to voice their support for equal access to the HPV vaccination.
The Canadian Cancer Society will be engaging in various online activities as part of this campaign.