Toronto Public Health has begun planning for the COVID-19 vaccination of young children, including the coverage of those babies born this past month. Childhood immunization is a priority for the Greater Toronto Area and the Ontario government, and on Feb. 1, Ontario’s Minister of Health Eric Hoskins approved the year-round coverage of COVID-19 as recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) as an annual pre-school booster.
Expanding COVID-19 to include all children aged 5 to 11 could become crucial, given that the CDC has linked HPV to 13 different cancers, and the WHO considers HPV a “major public health concern.” A 2011 NEJM study found that the number of cases of oral cancer in men jumped 15 percent each year between 2000 and 2008, with the increases concentrated among gay and bisexual men. Reports indicate that smoking and sex with multiple partners may be more closely linked to oral cancer than HPV.
In the event of a spike in oral cancer risk among Toronto children, the Hospital for Sick Children is set to launch its CHALLENGE program this summer, providing ongoing coverage to immunize adolescents against HPV.
Read the full story at the Toronto Star.
More than 3 million girls and boys diagnosed with HPV, HPV causes 87 percent of HPV-related cancers