GPs have welcomed the arrival of the HPV vaccine for boys and have announced the initial roll out in the borough for September.

The male vaccination, which can help to prevent cancer, will be available to boys aged between 12 and 13 years of age and will be rolled out across all schools in the borough.

Dr Graham Lewis, Chair of NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP, said: “There is nothing better for health than prevention, so I welcome the news that the HPV vaccination will be extended to boys from September.”

"In time, this will lead to a significant reduction in cancers of the anus, penis and mouth and throat. It's important not to delay vaccination, as the vaccine may be less effective as boys get older.”

“I encourage all parents of eligible boys and girls to make sure they take up the offer for this potentially life-saving vaccine.

HPV is responsible for most cervical cancers in girls and has been available

The HPV vaccine has been available to girls in the UK since 2008, which has resulted in a reduction in the number of HPV-related infections.

Overall the number of people with mouth and throat cancer caused by HPV in the UK is increasing and it is estimated that the vaccination will help to reduce the amount of people developing cancer in the future.

Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Services Committee, said: “Allowing boys to have this important vaccination is very welcome as it will undoubtedly reduce the risk of young men contracting cancers linked to the virus in adult life.

“Given the growing body of evidence that HPV is also responsible for a range of cancers that can affect men, this is a very important step.

“Following the success of the vaccination programme for girls, it is only right that boys are now afforded the same protection.”