A total of 845 grade 6 students have been targeted to receive for the first time, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination.
The announcement was made by Minister for Health, Hon. Kenneth Darroux at the opening ceremony of a National consultation on cervical cancer, held on June 27, 2019.
“The target population for this vaccine will be for our pre- pubertal children in grade six-mainly between the ages of 11-12 and we intend to vaccinate both male and female- a total of 845 children- and it will be done as part of a comprehensive programme for the prevention and control of cervical cancer,” the Minister stated.
According to Dr. Darroux, while the programme has officially been launched, the actual administration of the vaccine will not commence until all health care professionals are sensitized on the benefits of the HPV vaccination.
“It won’t be administered until such time that the public and other stakeholders such as the media, parents, advocates, civil society and everyone is fully educated thoroughly about cervical cancer prevention screening and treatment.”
The minister highlighted that based on studies pre-teens have a higher immune response to the HPV Vaccination and the risk exposure of HPV increases after the age of 13.