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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 26;8(6):e67072. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067072. Print 2013.

Vaccinating Girls and Boys with Different Human Papillomavirus Vaccines: Can It Optimise Population-Level Effectiveness?

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Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, Hôpital Saint-Sacrement, Québec, Canada ; Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.



Decision-makers may consider vaccinating girls and boys with different HPV vaccines to benefit from their respective strengths; the quadrivalent (HPV4) prevents anogenital warts (AGW) whilst the bivalent (HPV2) may confer greater cross-protection. We compared, to a girls-only vaccination program with HPV4, the impact of vaccinating: 1) both genders with HPV4, and 2) boys with HPV4 and girls with HPV2.


We used an individual-based transmission-dynamic model of heterosexual HPV infection and diseases. Our base-case scenario assumed lifelong efficacy of 100% against vaccine types, and 46,29,8,18,6% and 77,43,79,8,0% efficacy against HPV-31,-33,-45,-52,-58 for HPV4 and HPV2, respectively.


Assuming 70% vaccination coverage and lifelong cross-protection, vaccinating boys has little additional benefit on AGW prevention, irrespective of the vaccine used for girls. Furthermore, using HPV4 for boys and HPV2 for girls produces greater incremental reductions in SCC incidence than using HPV4 for both genders (12 vs 7 percentage points). At 50% vaccination coverage, vaccinating boys produces incremental reductions in AGW of 17 percentage points if both genders are vaccinated with HPV4, but increases female incidence by 16 percentage points if girls are switched to HPV2 (heterosexual male incidence is incrementally reduced by 24 percentage points in both scenarios). Higher incremental reductions in SCC incidence are predicted when vaccinating boys with HPV4 and girls with HPV2 versus vaccinating both genders with HPV4 (16 vs 12 percentage points). Results are sensitive to vaccination coverage and the relative duration of protection of the vaccines.


Vaccinating girls with HPV2 and boys with HPV4 can optimize SCC prevention if HPV2 has higher/longer cross-protection, but can increase AGW incidence if vaccination coverage is low among boys.

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