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New HPV vaccine approved in Scotland

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A different type of vaccine will be used to protect teenage girls against a virus which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts, the Scottish government has announced.

During the new school term, which starts this week, girls will be vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV) with Gardasil rather than Cervarix, used previously.

Cervarix protects against two strains of HPV, while Gardasil is said to offer protection from four, as well as protecting against genital warts.

The HPV vaccine, which is given in three doses, will continue to be offered to girls in their second year of secondary school, when they are about 13-years-old.

Gardasil offers protection against the two strains of HPV that cause more than 70% of cases of cervical cancers in the UK, and a further two strains that cause about 90% of genital warts cases.

It will now be used across the UK following a procurement exercise by the Department of Health on behalf of the four UK Health Departments.

The vaccine does not protect against other types of cervical cancer, so regular screening is still important.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • So what happens to the girls who have had the Cervarix? As far as I know - both vaccines are not considered to be interchangeable. Is this group of girls now unable to access the more superior vaccine (ie with the wart protection factor).
    I work as a school nurse and there are many parents who would have preferred the Gardasil, but could not afford to go private. This seems very unfair on the girls who have had this since 2007/2008.

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