Government defends giving girls cervical cancer vaccine HPV despite adverse effects

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gocernment-defends-vaccine.jpgThe Ministry of Health is defending the decision to administer the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to girls in Grade Seven.

The programme is scheduled to start on Monday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that children from age nine to 14 be given the vaccine. They will get two doses of the vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is aimed at protecting against cervical cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Jamaica and the ninth leading cause of death worldwide.

Dr. Melody Ennis, Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health, said the Government decided to administer the vaccine to this particular age group because toll cervical cancer has taken on the society.

"We have here in Jamaica over 300 cases, with 185 deaths annually. In our population, the virus that causes cervical cancer is in excess of 50 per cent," she explained.