New cancer vaccine set to be introduced next month

The HPV Vaccine. Photo: National Foundation for Cancer Research.

Cervical cancer cases may be prevented and reduced in the future as a new vaccine is set to be introduced next month.

The Human papilloma virus or HPV vaccine will be introduced around the country on 15 May 2019.

Director of Reproductive and Child Health at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr. Divi Ogaoga said cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women in the country apart from breast cancer.

But he saaid the new vaccine was safe and was approved by the World Health Organisation saying, countries like Fiji and Australia had already used the vaccine.

“With the use of this vaccine , we will prevent almost zero cases of cervical cancer in 20 years time,” he said.

“This vaccine will be given to girls ,nine year old to 14 year olds, this is before they reach the age where they can start a family, so we are giving them the vaccine at a very young age, and evidence shows that antibody production or immune response to this vaccine is highest in these age groups.”

He said young girls would receive two doses 12 months apart to ensure lifetime protection from Cervical cancer.

“Families that have young female in the age group from nine to fourteen to listen out further for more information on where this vaccine will be delivered,” he said.

“Mainly vaccines will be delivered to schools, clinics, and to communities, we have trained nurses in all the provinces but there’s only province left to go for nurses to be trained, but we will cover that province before the 15th of May.”

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