Girls in TN aged 9-14 to get vaccinated against HPV

The Union Health Secretary, in a letter to the State, urged the state health department to organise the vaccination in schools jointly with the State Education Department
Human Papillomavirus vaccine
Human Papillomavirus vaccineANI

CHENNAI: Girls between the age of 9-14 years are to be vaccinated with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at schools, as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme. The initiative has been taken by the Union Health Ministry after National Technical Advisory Group for Immunisation (NTAGI) recommended the same.

The Union Health Secretary, in a letter to the State, urged the state health department to organise the vaccination in schools jointly with the State Education Department.

The vaccination data will be collected after each camp in all the government and private schools and sent to the Union Health Ministry as being done for other vaccination programmes. The vaccination activities will be monitored in all the districts by nodal officers.

The girls aged 9-14 years will be given HPV vaccination in all schools since it is one of the easily preventable cancers in women through vaccines. The schools will also conduct awareness camps for the parents to encourage them to vaccinate their wards.

Experts say that 90 percent of cervical cancers are caused by HPV infections and vaccinations against these infections are preferred to be given at the age of 9-14 year old girls. The recently approved CERVAVAC vaccine is to be used for the vaccination.

The vaccine was approved by the Drugs Controller GeneraI of India's and is expected to be rolled out by next year.

HPV vaccines are licensed to be used between 9-45 years of age and should ideally be given before first sexual contact to prevent HPV infection and thereby preventing cancers in the future.

"A meeting was held in this regard and official communication to roll out the HPV vaccination as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme is awaited. Once we receive the details, we will make arrangements to conduct the same, " said Dr Vinay Kumar, State Immunisation Officer, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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