Schoolgirls will be given the life-saving cervical cancer vaccination in a pilot scheme launched today by a family planning clinic.
The Dublin Well Woman Centre claimed it will reveal the high demand for the HPV vaccine which was controversially axed in the Government’s cost-cutting programme.
Well Woman’s chief executive, Alison Begas, said the vaccine will be rolled out next month in Coolock, north Dublin, and offered to around 450 12-year olds at a reduced price.
HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus, causes over 99% of cervical cancer in women.
In August, and following the recommendation of an expert group, Health Minister Mary Harney announced plans to introduce a HPV vaccination programme for 12-year-old girls and said its introduction ’could significantly reduce overall cervical cancer rates’.
Three months later the roll-out was called off because of budgetary constraints during the economic downturn.