PEI on board for HPV immunization

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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A program to immunize more than 825 girls in Grade 6 against Human Papilloma Virus is being launched during the fall of 2007 in Island elementary schools, Minister of Health Doug Currie confirmed Thursday.

"HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, so were very pleased to offer this program on Prince Edward Island with the aid of the funding received from the federal government," said Currie.

A program to immunize more than 825 girls in Grade 6 against Human Papilloma Virus is being launched during the fall of 2007 in Island elementary schools, Minister of Health Doug Currie confirmed Thursday.

"HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, so were very pleased to offer this program on Prince Edward Island with the aid of the funding received from the federal government," said Currie. "The HPV

vaccine will be provided by public health nurses to Grade 6 girls in all Island schools."

The vaccine, which is free for all Grade 6 girls, will be offered on a

voluntary basis and requires parental consent. HPV is transmitted through sexual activity and is the cause of almost all

cases of cancer of the cervix. This virus also causes genital warts and changes in the cells of the cervix which are seen when a Pap test is done.

The maximum benefit from this vaccine can be achieved by providing it to girls before they become sexually active. The vaccine protects against HPV types that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer. It is licensed and recommended for females aged nine to 26 years of age in Canada and requires a series of three injections over a six month period.

Ottawa is committed to advancing responsible and scientifically sound measures that protect the health of Canadian women, said federal Health Minister Tony Clement.

"That is why we included the $300M HPV vaccine program in Budget 2007, and I commend PEI for moving so quickly to make the vaccine available. This preventative measure is an important investment in the future health and well being of Canadian women."

"Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Canadian women aged 20-44 years," said Dr. Lamont Sweet, Chief Health Officer. "The HPV program is being offered here because we want to provide Island women at a young age with the best chance for preventing cervical cancer. "

Nova Scotia, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador have also announced

plans to offer HPV vaccine school-based programs this fall.

Organizations: HPV vaccine school

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada, Ottawa Nova Scotia Ontario Newfoundland and Labrador

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