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Vaccine on offer to all schoolgirls

A LIFE-SAVING vaccination to protect against cervical cancer will be available to schoolgirls in the borough from next term.

A LIFE-SAVING vaccination to protect against cervical cancer will be available to schoolgirls in the borough from next term.

Similar vaccines were successfully trialled in America and Europe and are now authorised for the UK market.

The jabs provide immunisation against two strains of Human papillomavirus (HPV), which are known to cause warts and cancers.

Many doctors believe it will be an effective prevention - in addition to regular smear tests - to a disease that kills around 400 British women a year.

All this protection comes at a high cost, with the Servarix jabs priced at £80 each - £240 for the three doses each girl will receive over a six-month period.

But to ensure all schoolgirls can receive the vaccine, Solihull NHS Care Trust has received a grant for £56,000 from the Government to cover staff and administration costs.

From September, all 1700 girls in Year Eight in Solihull Schools will be administered the injections by school nurses. And last week the Government announced that girls in year 13 will be offered the jab, to reach those who would otherwise have missed out on the chance to be vaccinated.

Then, over the next two years, there will be catch-up programmes, so all girls leaving school by 2010 will be protected against cervical cancer later in life.

The vaccination will also be offered to girls who are outside of the school system.

Alan Stanton, Consultant Community Paediatrician for the Trust said: "For the first time we have a vaccination against a common cancer and that is exciting."

 

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