Cervical cancer vaccine programme approved

The DoH has agreed, in principle, to introduce a programme of routine human papillomav virus (HPV) vaccinations for girls aged 12-13 years.

Public health minister Caroline Flint
Public health minister Caroline Flint

The programme follows acceptance of advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), but is subject to peer review of the cost-benefit analysis. Funding will be considered in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

HPV causes 99 per cent of invasive cervical cancer. The vaccine protects against the viruses responsible for about 70 per cent of cases.

Routine vaccination for girls could start as early as autumn 2008. Details of the programme will be finalised over the next few months, following further advice from JCVI and discussion with the NHS on the implementation of the programme.

Public health minister Caroline Flint said: 'The benefits of introducing this vaccine will be felt by women and their families for generations to come.'

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