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Teen vaccine may be working

Monday February 7th, 2011

More than four million doses of the new vaccine aimed at preventing cervical cancer have been given to young women in the UK, according to new figures.

The programme, aimed at protecting against the human papillomavirus, has now reached 84 per cent of girls aged 13 to 14, according to the Department of Health.

Out of all female teenagers aged 12 to 19, some 60 per cent have been vaccinated, according to the figures - giving the UK a success rate twice that of the USA.

Robert Music, director of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said the rate of success could cut rates of cervical cancer by two thirds by 2025.

He said: "It is encouraging to see that many girls are getting vaccinated against HPV but we would like to see this increase further.

"We must remind girls that they are eligible for vaccination up to 18 years and I urge everyone who has yet to take part in this potentially life saving programme to do so."

Health minister Anne Milton said: "I would ask every girl between 12 and 18 who has not considered vaccination or who has not completed the full course to speak to their school or GP – all three doses are needed for full protection."

* A US-led study says vaccination of young men can also be effective.

Some 4,000 men aged 16 to 26 in 18 countries took part in the research.

The vaccine prevented genital warts and in most cases prevented persistent HPV infection, the researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researcher Dr Anna Giuliano, of Tampa, Florida, said: "This is the first study to show that this vaccine works in boys. As long as we have a poor record of vaccinations in girls, boys should also be vaccinated."

New England Journal of Medicine February 3 2011

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Infancy to Adolescence | Menís Health | North America | UK News | Womenís Health & Gynaecology

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