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Government considers vaccinating teens against HPV to combat cervical cancer

Published:Wednesday | May 6, 2015 | 9:19 AM
Dr Fenton Ferguson

Local teenage girls could soon be vaccinated against the Human papilloma virus (HPV) as the Government seeks to reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.

The announcement was made by the health minister Dr Fenton Ferguson yesterday as he made his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers.

The CDC also notes on its website that a person can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus.

Yesterday, Ferguson noted that cancer of the cervix is the second-leading cancer in the country with HPV genotypes 16 and 18 estimated to contribute to over 60 per cent of the cases.

He also stated that in Jamaica, the occurrence of this disease is 28 per 100,000 of the population with a mortality rate of 13.2 per 100,000.

Ferguson said administering the vaccine to teenage girls is a practical answer to the problem.


Health minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson.