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Cancer vaccine

Roy R. Morris

Cancer vaccine

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In a matter of weeks all 11-year-old schoolgirls in Barbados will receive their first dose of a vaccine intended to protect them from cervical cancer by the time they become sexually active.
Within recent weeks secondary school principals across the island were officially informed that on the first Friday of the next school term all first form girls will have the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine administered at school under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.
The girls will receive the second dose of the three-stage regime of protection against the sexually transmitted virus six weeks later, while the final dose will be administered six months after the first,  sources told the WEEKEND NATION.
While it is the Government’s intention to have all pre-teen girls vaccinated under the programme, it is expected that within days parents will begin receiving consent forms from the Ministry of Education. Officials have explained that Government is proceeding on the basis that vaccination costs a fraction of what it takes to look after women who develop cervical cancer.
In fact, a proposal discussed by the Freundel Stuart Cabinet on the matter noted that while “the actual cost of treating a case of cervical cancer is not known at this time, an estimated cost based on doctoral visits, medications, radiation and hospitalisations for the treatment of approximately 35 women in Barbados show costs of $1 750 000”.