Less than half of Grade 8 females got the three-dose vaccination against HPV
By Kelly Pedro The London Free Press
Last Updated: January 28, 2011 12:17pm
More than half of Grade 8 girls in London-Middlesex still aren’t getting vaccinated against a virus linked to cervical cancer, disappointing health officials.
Last year, about 45% of local girls received the three doses paid for by the federal government.
“We’d like to be higher, obviously. We’d like to be at 100, but we’d like to be more toward 70%,” said Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, associate medical officer of health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. The health unit started administering the Gardasil vaccine through a school-based program in 2007.
At the time, 39% of Grade 8 girls got the three-dose shots, each costing $150. Gardasil is designed to protect against four types of the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus, two of which are blamed for 70% of cervical cancer cases.
Some in medical circles have opposed the vaccine program because of its costs and lack of long-term studies of possible side-effects on young women.
Patricia Armstrong, a Rodney mother, refused to give consent for her daughter to have the vaccine because she thought it was unsafe.