Starting next school year, the Gillard Government will fund the vaccine for 12 and 13-year-old boys through school-based programs under the National Immunisation Program.
Year 9 boys will also be able to get the vaccine at school under a catch-up program for the next two years.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek said providing the HPV vaccine to boys would protect them and increase the effectiveness of the vaccination program for girls.
“Every parent wants their child to be healthy and that is why the Australian Government is delivering the best protection we have against HPV related cancer through this vaccine,” said Ms Plibersek.
“By building on Australia’s world-class immunisation program, we’re stopping preventable HPV related disease and cancers, and that makes a difference to the quality of life of our families.
“Already the HPV vaccine has had an impact – significantly reducing the number of lesions that lead to cervical cancer amongst women in the vaccinated age group. It is estimated that a quarter of new infections will be avoided by extending the vaccine to boys,” said Ms Plibersek.
An Australian innovation, the vaccine protects against four important genotypes of the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The HPV vaccination program for boys is expected to cost $21.1 million over four years. Ms Plibersek said the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee had recommended last year that the HPV vaccination program be extended to boys following a review of its cost effectiveness.