More than 30,000 schoolgirls in Leicestershire and Rutland will be vaccinated against the disease that claimed the life of Jade Goody over the next year.
The ex-Big Brother star died of cervical cancer and a major campaign is now in progress to combat the deadly disease.
Year 8 schoolgirls in Leicestershire and Rutland, aged between 12 and 13, were among the first to be vaccinated as part of the scheme last September. They were given the first of three injections over a six month period.
Schoolgirls aged between 14 and 16, in year 10 and 11, will be the next to be vaccinated in September as the community health teams in both counties look to inject the remaining 12,000 pupils.
Health consultants are concerned, however, that a number of older teenagers, aged between 16 and 18, will have their first vaccination in a doctor’s surgery, but fail to turn up for the second jab. Last year, 19% of girls missed out on their second injection of the course of three.
“The HPV vaccine has been proved to be very effective in combating cervical cancer and we need to make young women aware that it is crucial that they have the injections,” Dr Mary Gee, a NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland public health consultant.
“But they must also complete the full course of the three injections for it to be effective”.
Copyright © Press Association 2009