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Published on 25 April 2008

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Girls could have cancer vaccine jab

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Seven out of 10 girls could be vaccinated against the disease that causes cervical cancer, a pilot study has suggested.

Girls aged 12 to 13 will receive the HPV jab from September in a programme costing up to £100 million a year.

They will be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV causes around 70% of cases of cervical cancer, which kills more than 1,000 women in the UK each year.

The results of a pilot study in Manchester suggested that around 70% of girls would take the jab.

The vaccination is likely to be given in three doses over a six-month period but this early report was confined to looking at uptake of the first two doses.

Published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the research involved two primary care trusts (PCTs) in Manchester in February 2007.

The authors, from the University of Manchester, concluded: “Vaccine uptake was 70.6% for the first dose and 68.5% for the second dose.

“Uptake was significantly lower in schools with a higher proportion of ethnic minority girls or higher proportion of girls entitled to free school meals.

“The main reason for parents’ refusal of vaccination was insufficient information about the vaccine and its long-term safety.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

BMJ



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