90% of Scottish girls get cervical cancer jab

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  • Nine out of ten schoolgirls opt for vaccine

    More than nine out of ten Scottish schoolgirls eligible for a vaccine to protect them against cervical cancer have had the jab.

    The first figures on uptake of the vaccine, which protects women against the human papilloma virus (HPV), showed that 92.2 per cent of girls had had the first dose, and 87.8 per cent had had the second dose, according to the figures published yesterday.

    The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Harry Burns, said that the results were ‘hugely encouraging’.

    The HPV vaccination campaign started in September and is targeting girls in the second, fifth and sixth years at school during its first year. Those in third and fourth years will be offered the jab from September.

    Once the catch-up campaign is completed, the vaccine – which protects against two types of HPV that cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers – will be routinely offered to children aged 12 to 13.

    Dr Burns said a ‘very small’ number of girls would choose not to have the jab, sometimes for religious reasons. Some girls may not have received the jab because they left the school after the start of the academic year and will need to be picked up in a catch-up campaign for those no longer in education.

    Pupil Rachel Small, 16, said the death of reality TV star Jade Goody had encouraged young people to talk about cervical cancer and realise the importance of being vaccinated. ‘You think of it as an old person’s cancer and obviously if someone that young has got it, you realise it can affect all of us,’ she said.


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