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New cervical jab to be offered

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Girls who are returning to school this week are being encouraged to ensure they receive all three doses of the cervical cancer jab.

Starting from this week, school girls will be given a new injection which also protects against genital warts.

Gardasil guards against two strains of the human Papillomavirus (HPV) virus - 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cases of cervical cancer - and also strains that cause lesions and genital warts.

Last year ministers announced that the jab, from Sanofi Pasteur, would replace the vaccine Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, from the start of term.

As the school year begins, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has called for girls to take up the vaccine.

Director of the charity, Robert Music, said: “It’s important that everyone involved in the programme, including those delivering it locally, does everything possible to remind girls who are no longer in year eight but aged 17 and below that they can still have the vaccine on the NHS.

“Vaccination for HPV can prevent infection from two of the highest risk strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer. So we urge young women to take up the opportunity to have all three doses of the vaccination.”

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