Public Health News South Africa

HPV vaccination campaign launches in Western Cape schools

Kicking off this month through to October, Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness officials will visit public- and special schools to administer HPV vaccines. Parents and guardians are urged to provide consent for the second vaccine doses.
Source: Supplied.
Source: Supplied.

A total of 1,129 young girls were vaccinated against the HPV from 4 September to 8 September as part of the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) school immunisation programme.

“In order for your Grade 5 learners to receive a free HPV vaccine, we need a signed consent form. The vaccine is safe and can prevent cervical cancer - one of the most common cancers in women. But it should be given early, from age nine,” said Sonia Botha, co-ordinator of the Expanded Programme on Immunisations for the Western Cape.

During the first round of HPV vaccinations earlier this year, a total of 1,044 schools were visited and 76% of eligible girls received their first dose. The department’s HPV vaccine programme forms part of global efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health threat by 2030.

The first step towards this goal is to have 90% of girls fully vaccinated against HPV by the age of 15.

With wide vaccination coverage of girls over the age of nine, it is possible to eliminate HPV as a human pathogen.

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