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Cervarix chosen as HPV vaccine

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The Government has chosen the bivalent vaccine Cervarix for its new immunisation programme against human papillomavirus, the primary risk factor for cervical cancer.

The vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, protects against HPV types 16 and 18, and is thought to protect against around 70% of cervical cancers. Vaccination is due to start this September for girls aged 12–13.

The decision to pick the GSK product comes at the expense of Gardasil, a quadravalent HPV vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur MSD that protects against four virus types including one that causes genital warts.

‘It is difficult to understand why the DH has missed a huge opportunity to protect an entire generation of young women against genital warts,’ said the Family Planning Association.

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