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HPV vaccine uptake 'very encouraging'

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Latest figures for the HPV vaccine, which show that more than nine out of 10 of eligible schoolgirls in Scotland have had at least one injection to help protect them from cervical cancer, have been hailed as “very encouraging” by the Scottish government.

The vaccination is given in three doses and offers protection against HPV, which is the cause of 70% of cervical cancer cases.

Girls in the second year of high school are routinely offered the vaccine, while older schoolgirls who have left school and eligible teenagers can make use of a catch-up programme.

Some 92.6% of girls in the second year of high school have been given the first dose, according to the figures from the second year of the vaccination campaign which began in 2008. The figures show 91.1% have had the second jab and 86.9% have received all three doses.

However, the catch-up programme has had less success with those girls who had left school.

The 2009-10 figures showed 45.9% of this group had had the first HPV injection, and 38.4% had had the second, with updated rates showing how many have had the third dose not due to published until March next year.

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