Appeal for funds as HPV vaccine campaigners bring legal challenge against government
Campaigners for teenage boys to be offered the HPV vaccine that is routinely given to girls aged 12 to 13 by the NHS are to launch a legal challenge to the government.
The action is being brought by the Throat Cancer Foundation (TCF) which is aiming to raise at least £5,000 in the next month to begin legal proceedings for a judicial review.
Teenage girls aged 12 to 13 have been receiving the vaccine that gives immunity against the human papillomavirus (HPV) as part of the NHS childhood immunisation programme since 2008.
Despite a vociferous campaign supported by 48 leading patient and professional medical organistaions including the Royal Society for Public Health and the British Society for Immunology, the NHS has steadfastly refused to extend the programme to boys who are four times as likely to develop head and neck cancers as women.
The Throat Cancer Foundation appeal page is now live at www.crowdjustice.com/case/protect-our-boys-from-hpv-cancers
Founder Jamie Rae – a survivor of throat cancer caused by HPV – says: “We want fairness, for all our children to be protected. Please help us prevent the avoidable suffering caused due to the unfair and discriminatory policy to not vaccinate boys. We will be launching legal proceedings to seek a judicial review to challenge this, and we need your help.”
The number of throat cancers caused by HPV has increased sharply over the past 20 years and this trend will continue unless action is taken. Vaccinating boys as well as girls would have a major impact in reducing the number of cases – and the cost to the NHS has been calculated as £22 million, a relatively small figure in terms of the overall NHS budget.
I have kicked off the appeal with a £500 donation and after the first day it was already well on the way to achieving its target.
TCF has the support of lawyers who have agreed to bring the case for free but the foundation will still be liable for court costs – hence the appeal.
Information on the HPV action campaign is at www.hpvaction.org