The recent introduction of routine immunisation against human papillomavirus (HPV) in adolescent girls in the UK has focused attention on the potential for immunisation in this age group. In this review the authors suggest that this is an opportunity that is not being fully utilised. In particular, there are arguments for adolescent vaccines to boost immunity against Bordetella pertussis and Neisseria meningitidis infections, and the successful implementation of the HPV vaccine could be taken as a model to prevent another sexually transmitted carcinogenic infection, hepatitis B virus.
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Competing interests MDS has received financial assistance from Novartis Vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to attend conferences and has had travel and accommodation expenses paid by Novartis Vaccines while working in collaboration with Novartis Vaccines in Siena, Italy. MDS receives salary support from the NIHR Oxford Partnership Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre programme. ARK has no competing interests to declare.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed