A Department of Health statement said: "In light of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's (JCVI) recommendation the department has directed that preparatory work be commenced to allow for the introduction of HPV in boys in Northern Ireland pending a decision by an incoming minister".
The vaccination would be administered to girls aged 9-14 years free of cost to protect them against cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Girls of the same age are already being routinely vaccinated against HPV.
HPV vaccine, short for the human papillomavirus vaccine, will be offered to boys aged 12 to 13 in England, 10 years after it was introduced for girls, public health minister Steve Brine said. "We are committed to leading a world-class vaccination programme and achieving some of the best cancer outcomes in the world - I am confident these measures today will bring us one step further to achieving this goal".
In England, between 2010 and 2016, infections with HPV 16 and 18 fell 86% among women 16 to 21 who were eligible for the vaccine during this period, Public Health England found.
Boys are expected to receive the Gardasil vaccine, as girls do.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. HIQA's health technology assessment is reviewing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of extending this programme to include vaccinating boys in their first year of secondary school as well. "Alongside the rollout, it's also crucial that we redouble efforts to actively communicate the important health benefits of this vaccine to parents and children".
HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. If all the boys are also vaccinated there would be "herd immunity" explain experts that would protect a large population of boys and girls from this infection.
A team of Canadian investigators conducted a national observational study in which women and girls living with HIV underwent HPV vaccination.
In particular, it causes up to five times as many mouth and throat cancers as had been estimated.
Simon Harris said he was encouraged by a draft report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) published yesterday.
'The JCVI agreed that it would undoubtedly be of benefit, but were constrained by the rules of cost effectiveness modelling.
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