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School opts out of cervical cancer vaccine programme

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A school in Greater Manchester has refused to implement the HPV vaccination programme.

The governors of St Monica’s Catholic School in Bury decided that vaccine was a matter of personal choice and therefore should not be given on school premises.

It had been reported that the school rejected the vaccine on moral or religious grounds but St Monica’s denied the claims, arguing that a school was not a suitable setting for providing jabs.

In a statement, school governors said: ‘injections should be given in a sterile clinical setting with the appropriate medical personnel at hand, should they be needed.’

Dr Peter Elton, Bury’s director of public health, said he was respectful of the school’s decision but disappointed that some girls may miss out on the vaccine as a result.

‘The vaccine will without doubt reduce the number of girls who contract cervical cancer later in life,’ he said. ‘We know that delivering the vaccination to girls aged 12-13 from a school setting achieves the best uptake.’

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