Campaigning for change
WE DID IT! BOYS WILL BE OFFERED HPV VACCINATION!
Absolutely fantastic news - the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have today recommended extending HPV vaccination to boys as well as girls.
We're absolutely delighted and thank everyone who has helped us in our campaign for this over the last six years.
We will no longer need to launch a judicial review and so are closing our CrowdJustice case. However, the fight isn't quite over yet - The Scottish Government have announced that they will be following the JCVI's recommendation and offering universal vaccination 'as soon as is practicable' which is fantastic, but at the time of writing we haven't heard similar assurances from the health departments in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
We will keep fighting for these programmes to be delivered in a timely manner so boys as well as girls are protected from HPV-related cancers in later life.
Links to articles about the JCVI's recommendation:
'HPV jab should be given to boys, committee says' - BBC News
'HPV: Boys should be given cancer-preventing jab, says vaccination body' - The Independent
'U-turn as Government advisers declare teenage boys SHOULD be given the life-saving HPV vaccine...' - Daily Mail
Links to articles about the Scottish Government's decision to vaccinate boys:
'HPV vaccine will be rolled out to schoolboys in Scotland to protect against throat cancer' - The Herald
'Boys in Scotland to also receive HPV vaccine, say Scottish Government' - The National
'HPV vaccination to be offered to Scottish boys' - BBC News
'HPV JABS WILL BE OFFERED TO THOUSANDS OF TEEN BOYS ON THE NHS' - we may have won the battle!
The Mail on Sunday has reported that Jeremy Hunt will give the go-ahead for boys to vaccinated against HPV at the same time as girls.
While nothing is confirmed, this would be absolutely fantastic news.
The Mail on Sunday reports that the interim decision last year by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) was based on a 'flawed' computer model, and since running it again with new figures showing that 650 men lose their lives to HPV-related cancers each year (mainly of the throat or mouth) they have decided to recommend vaccination for boys.
We believe that keeping up the pressure on the JCVI through our campaigning along with HPV Action has helped keep this issue on the agenda, and we thank the Mail on Sunday for their campaign and articles over the last six months which have helped keep the injustice of the current vaccination policy in the public eye.
The fight isn't over yet though. Even if this decision by the JCVI is confirmed when their minutes are published next month, the Government still has to accept their advice and set a timetable for the vaccination of boys to start.
With 2000 men diagnosed with a HPV-related cancer a year, and 650 men losing their lives, we are not willing to sit around and wait. We will continue with our legal action to bring a judicial review if we feel heels are being dragged or if the JCVI's decision is different than reported.
And we're off - our lawyers have taken the first step in our legal action.
Our lawyers Leigh Day have now sent a letter before claim to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which is the first stage in the judicial review process.
The letter sets out our argument that the present policy is unlawful as it constitutes direct sex discrimination and so is in breach of the Equality Act 2010 as HPV vaccination is beneficial to boys as well as girls.
"The present policy, which is operated by the Secretary of State based on a prior recommendation of the JCVI, constitutes direct sex discrimination contrary to section 13 of the EA. The relevant public service, namely the provision of HPV vaccinations, has the capacity to benefit both boys and girls. It follows that the only reason that the service is not made available to boys as well as girls is an economic assessment that boys would receive less benefit than girls.”
We have asked for a response to this letter by the 7th of June, the day after the JCVI next meets, and based on that response we will then consider the next stage of our action, which may be filing a judicial review claim in court.
Please consider making a pledge to help us with our case or pledging again. We’re nearly 90% of the way towards our target of £25,000 and the money you pledge will go towards the court and associated costs of our case.
You can view our case page here.
CROWDJUSTICE crowdfunder extended - we're nearly there!
We've extended our CrowdJustice campaign as we're now nearly 90% towards our stretch target of £25,000, which is absolutely fantastic!
You can view our case page here, and we'd very much appreciate it if you would consider pledging to our case to help us across the finishing line.
INITIAL CROWDJUSTICE CASE TARGET REACHED
We're delighted to have reached our initial target of £15,000. We anticipate that this is the amount that the court will require to be ring-fenced for potential court costs. Thank you so much to everyone who has pledged their support.
We are now aiming for a 'stretch' target of £25,000. These additional funds will go towards any other costs related to the case, and anything left over will be used to continue to provide support to those affected by throat cancers.
You can view our case page here, and we'd very much appreciate it if you would consider pledging to our case.
crowdjustice case launched to raise funds to fight for universal hpv vaccination
Today we have launched a CrowdJustice case to raise funds for a judicial review of the policy of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to not offer HPV vaccination to boys, leaving them exposed to infection and HPV-related cancers.
You can view our case page here, and we'd very much appreciate it if you would consider pledging to our case.
Our lawyers have offered to represent us for free due to the importance of this case, but we will still be liable for the court costs. We expect these to be ring fenced at £15,000.
Continuing our Campaign for universal HPV Vaccination
In the latest stage of our campaign for universal HPV vaccination we have advised the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that we will consider legal action if they do not change their policy and offer vaccination to boys as well as girls. We believe their current policy is discriminatory.
Our boys deserve better - both boys and girls should be vaccinated for HPV to help them avoid the pain and suffering that throat cancer causes.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have been reviewing whether to offer vaccination for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to boys as well as girls since 2013, and the topic wasn't even on the agenda for their latest meeting last week.
The Mail on Sunday are running a campaign for HPV vaccination for boys aged 12 and 13, and have today published this article about our latest step.
TCF address the Scottish parliament
Today, 11th June 2013, the Throat Cancer Foundation were invited to present our case for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to be extended to include boys to the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee. TCF were represented by Founder and Chief Executive, Jamie Rae and Information and Support Manager, Ewan Lumsden.
TCF were asked to present their case to the MSP's on the Public Petitions Committee after we lodged this petition which asked the Scottish Government to address the failure of the current HPV vaccination policy to protect boys from HPV. Our campaign was backed by over 150 medical experts who agreed that by extending the vaccine to include boys we will reduce the number of men suffering painful treatment, disfigurement or even death because of throat cancers, anal cancer and penile cancer caused by HPV.
The presentation was a great success. Jamie made the case very well and he highlighted to the MSP's on the committee the numerous issues which are raised if the HPV vaccination is only offered to females: equality for men particularly men who have sex with men, a global and mobile population rendering "herd immunity" inadequate, an increased burden of illnesses caused by HPV not accounted for in current economic modelling and the precedent set by the US, Canada and Australia in male vaccination.
The committee have, as expected, decided to investigate this matter further and have made the decision to write to various stakeholders and canvass their opinion on the benefits of a gender neutral vaccination policy. We will be involved in that process too and look forward to progress on this vital issue.
Keep checking our website or social media pages for the latest updates on the campaign.
Hpv vaccination campaign progress report
Our petition to extend HPV vaccination to boys in Scotland has now closed. We would like to thank everyone who signed and shared the link and who gave their support to our petition. We garnered support from some of the UK's top doctors, surgeons and researchers who all agree that HPV vaccination needs to be extended to boys to save lives.
We even gathered support from TV doctor (and Twitter addict) Dr Christian Jessen, who is one of the stars of channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies. Dr Jessen has many facets to his career (tv, books, clinical practice and more) and his support is very welcome. Famous for his no nonsense and level headed approach to health , he agrees that vaccination is the sensible option for preventing HPV related cancers and other less deadly conditions, like genital warts.
The petition is closed now but our campaign continues to build momentum. We have been asked, as a direct result of the petition, to speak to the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee which will give is the opportunity to put forward the case for gender neutral vaccination in person. You can still show your support by writing to your MP and asking them about HPV. The more awareness we can raise and more MP's to understand the issues around HPV the better.
Our campaign continues and you can check out the latest news right here on our website or on our facebook page.
sign the hpv vaccination petition today
Throat Cancer Foundation need your help today. We have lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament to extend HPV vaccination to boys as a matter of urgency.
If you are not sure what HPV is or why boys should get vaccinated then head over to our HPV section for more information. HPV is one of the most common infections in the world and for the majority of people not harmful. For around 10% of people though HPV can have dire consequences including life limiting cancers. There is a vaccine though and currently it is only offered to girls in the UK, experts from the fields of oncology, surgery, public health and more all believe that vaccination of boys will save lives, simple as that.
Please show your support and sign our petition today. It only takes a moment and will make a difference.
help tHE THROAT CANCER FOUNDATION by lobbying your mp
We need your support TODAY to raise awareness of the increasing problem of throat cancer and the ways we can tackle this problem.
The Throat Cancer Foundation have raised an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the Houses of Parliament. An EDM is used to put a topic forward for debate and to raise awareness amongst MP's about an issue. We need you to contact your MP and ask them to support our EDM. This only takes a moment and you can make all the difference. The more MP's that sign, and the more awareness we raise, the more lives can be saved. Please take two minutes to help fight throat cancer. The EDM can be viewed here.
Click here and enter your postcode to find your local MP and their email address and then please send them a message. We have added a framework which you can use but please, personalise as you see fit.
Adding your voice will make a huge difference and help us in the fight against throat cancer.
Please write to your MP today for the Throat Cancer Foundation.
150 experts for gender neutral vaccination
The Throat Cancer Foundation has been campaigning since our inception for the introduction to the UK of gender neutral vaccination to protect people against the most harmful strains of HPV. While the UK has an excellent HPV vaccination programme which ensures the protection of young females, there is not the same protection for males. We have asked our clinical advisory team experts and numerous other leading medics and they agree that the sooner gender neutral vaccination is introduced the better.
To highlight this need and to put pressure on the decision makers in Government, we have been very proactive. We created a petition statement which outlines our position and asked the UK's top medical and public health professionals to sign:
We the undersigned urge the Government to address the inequity in the current HPV immunisation programme. We believe that vaccinating females only is an inadequate approach. Gender-neutral vaccination will reduce the impact of the most dangerous strains of HPV, preventing a great many cases of Cervical, Oropharyngeal, Anal, Penile and Vulval cancers.
By taking action now, we can reduce needless suffering and death, as well as cutting the economic burden of treatment for cancer and genital warts. The current HPV vaccination programme is discriminatory and leaves too many at risk of preventable cancers. We urge immediate action.
These are some of the most eminent experts in the world and leaders in the field of oncology, particularly head and neck cancer. This petition shows the need for those in Government to address the current policy and ensure that we are not lagging behind or leaving people at risk from avoidable disease. You find the petition here:
a gold standard of care
One of the main aims of the Throat Cancer Foundation is to advocate for a 'Gold Standard of Care' for those suffering from head and neck cancer. This means ensuring that all patients receive the highest possible standard of care regardless of where they live, their ability to pay or any other circumstance.
This is an ongoing campaign which can be divided into two sections. First of all we have a network of leading cancer experts and we will work with them to establish a set of protocols and guidelines as to what is the best treatment for head and neck patients.
Secondly, we will be working to empower patients to be more active in their treatment. This means ensuring people are aware of their rights in the NHS, know what questions to ask their medical team about their treatment and know how to access other services - particularly post treatment.
We are here to ensure greater communication between the medical profession and patients. By working together and creating a dialogue we can improve things for all future patients.