Canada’s territories should offer the HPV vaccine to boys to help close the health gap –

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine should be available to all Canadian children. However, the children in the North still don’t have universal access to this life-saving vaccine.

Now that Newfoundland and Labrador has announced funding for the HPV vaccine for boys, all children in Canada’s 10 provinces have access to the vaccine that helps prevent cancer. This is great news. But unfortunately for children in the North, the governments of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon have not yet made this disease-preventing and life-saving decision.

That no Canadian territory offers the HPV vaccine to boys is unjust for at least five reasons:

•Boys need the HPV vaccine. The Canadian Cancer Society reports that the majority of head and neck cancer patients are male and the numbers are rising more quickly in males than females.

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