Over 14s to receive controversial cervical cancer jab
MILLIONS MORE GIRLS are to receive a controversial vaccine against cervical cancer, it will be announced today.
The Department of Health are already backing a programme of vaccination for girls between 11 and 13 in an effort to cut as many as 1,000 deaths a year.
Now it is planning to administer a catch-up campaign for girls aged 14 to 17 who would otherwise miss out.
Experts who are championing the £100 million-a-year jab campaign say it’s vital for the over 14s to receive the injection so that benefits will be seen at an earlier stage.
The jabs may cause controversy as they provide protection against up to four strains of the human papillomavirus or HPV, which is sexually transmitted and causes most cases of cervical cancer.
Earlier this year the Department of Health agreed that girls aged 11 and 12 should receive the preventative jab, and last week the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the Government, suggested there should be a catch-up jab for older teenage girls.
Around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year, with around 1,000 women dying of the disease.
It is hoped the jab will cut deaths by up to 70%, but it is likely its effect won’t be seen for another 10 years.
Dr Anne Szarewski, of the Wolfston Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, told the Daily Mail: ‘If they have decided on a catch-up programme for girls of 13 to 17 then we will see results in the form of fewer abnormal smears within the next 10 years.
‘This is great news for women.’