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HPV vaccine go ahead

By Lilian Anekwe

Health secretary Alan Johnson announced today that all girls aged 12 years old will be vaccinated against HPV from the beginning of the 2008 school year.

Following recommendations from the Department of Health's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), there will also be a two-year catch up campaign starting in the school years 2009/10 and 2010/11.

The immunisation programme is expected to be delivered in schools at a cost of up to £100m a year and is expected to potentially save 400 lives a year.

The cervical screening programme will continue after the HPV vaccine has been introduced, as clinical trial data has shown neither of the two vaccines licensed protect against all HPV types that cause cervical cancer.

Announcing the new immunisation campaign, the Government said it signalled their ‘determination to make the NHS a service which prevents ill health and prioritises keeping people well.'

Further details of the from ‘a sickness service to a wellbeing service', will be outlined in more detail by the Prime Minister and Health Secretary over the coming months.

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