HPV vaccines to be provided for all adolescents in Latvia

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In 2023, vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) will also be provided from state budget resources for boys aged 12 to 17 years, according to the government amendments approved on Tuesday, May 2.

Until now, the State paid for vaccination against HPV for girls aged between 12 and 17 years and boys from 12 to 14 years.

The Ministry of Health (VM) said that the effects of HPV infection are the same for both sexes. Thus, aware of the importance of vaccination, the Ministry has found funding in internal resources, redeploying it from other measures, which will result in vaccination of boys aged 12 to 14 years being continued this year.

Sex-neutral or universal vaccination against HPV in the 12- to 17-year age group will be provided from the financial resources already allocated in 2023. However, in order to allow sex-neutral vaccination to be carried out in the coming years, it will have to find additional financial means and subsequently make appropriate amendments to the vaccination rules.

The Immunization State Agency (IVP) had previously indicated that there was currently inappropriate, unfair, and discriminatory distribution of public funds for the vaccination of girls and boys against HPV, which could lead to different types of malignant growths in both sexes. The IVP has expressed a categorical position: there is no support for a situation where the vaccine is paid for one sex and not for the other.

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