MORE than 5,000 Sussex schoolgirls aged 12 to 13 are being offered their human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination to protect them against cervical cancer.
Sussex Community NHS Trust school nurses across West Sussex will offer this free vaccination to all girls in year 8 and girls in years 9, 10 and 11, who have not had the vaccination already. The vaccination programme started as the new school term opened and runs across all state and independent secondary schools in the area.
Last year, around 85 per cent of eligible schoolgirls received their full course of HPV vaccination.
Every year cervical cancer affects more than 3,000 women and is responsible for around 800 deaths in England. Cervical cancer occurs in the cervix and is caused by the human papilloma virus. The HPV vaccine protects women from two types of HPV that together cause around 70 per cent of cervical cancers.
Rosanna Raven, from Sussex Community NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to once again offer this free vaccination to all schoolgirls across West Sussex.
“This vaccine will save lives. We want as many girls as possible in the target age group to benefit from this vaccine, and we would urge everyone who is offered it to take it. We gave out letters, consent forms and information at the start of the new term and urge all parents and carers to complete the consent forms and return them to schools as soon as possible.”