The Health Minister confirmed the news this morning

The Health Minister has confirmed the HPV vaccine will be extended to boys next year.

It follows a report from the health watchdog recommending the move.

An extension of the programmeis set to cost in the region of €12 million euro over 5 years.

HIQA also wants the type of vaccine changed so it's more effective.

538 people are diagnosed with a HPV-associated cancer in Ireland each year.

A quarter of that figure are boys.

Máirín Ryan from HIQA says extending the programme will have benefits for boys and girls:

She said "Including boys in the programme would provide direct benefit to the boys themselves, indirect benefits to any girls who haven't been vaccinated."

Ms Ryan also says it would "substantially reduce HPV related disease and mortality in Ireland".

The HPV Vaccination Alliance has today welcomed the announcement that boys and girls will be given equal opportunity to be protected from HPV-caused cancers from September 2019.