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Nine in 10 girls receive cervical cancer vaccine

27 March 2009

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The take-up rate for Scottish schoolgirls offered the cervical cancer vaccine already stands at 90%, according to the latest figures.

The vaccine, which protects against the disease that claimed the life of celebrity Jade Goody, involves a course of three injections over a period of six months.

Take-up for the first phase of the programme is currently at 92.5%, while the proportion of those coming forward for the second dose – still being administered – is 87.8%.

The figures relate to uptake rates for girls in the second, fifth and sixth year of secondary school.

There is also a one-off catch-up exercise, lasting three years, for older girls up to the age of 18.

Public health minister Shona Robison said: “These results are a testament to the hard work of health boards, particularly frontline nursing staff.”

The initiative hopes to immunise girls against types 16 and 18 of the human papillomavirus, which cause 70% of cervical cancers.

But Dr Martin Donaghy of Health Protection Scotland said: “It’s very important that girls still attend for screening when they are invited from the age of 20.

“Together these two preventative measures can prevent lives being lost to cervical cancer in Scotland.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Health Protection Scotland