Rate of local HPV vaccination on par with provincial average
By Sue Tiffin
Published Oct. 10, 2017
Consent packages for the HPV shot administered in later grades in elementary schools were sent home in early September, and HPV clinics run from October to December in local schools. The HPV vaccine is publicly funded for all Grade 7 students, both male and female, and is available only with parental consent.
Fifty-five per cent of 12-year-old girls and 64 per cent of 13-year-old girls in the HKPR district received the vaccination in the 2013-2014 school year, while 67 per cent of 12-year-old girls and just more than 50 per cent of 13-year-old girls received the shot in the 2014-2015 and 73 per cent of 12-year-old girls and 52 per cent of 13-year-old girls received it in the 2015-2016 school year.
The Ontario average was 77.5 per cent in 2013-2014, 29 per cent in 2014-2015 and 80 per cent in 2015-2016 for 12-year-old girls, and 61 per cent in 2013-2014, 60 per cent in 2014-2015 and 61 per cent in 2015-2016 for 13-year-old girls.
HPV, human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Some of the 100 strains of HPV can cause cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers, anal cancers, head, neck and throat cancers, precancerous lesions or genital warts. Some people never have symptoms and can transfer the virus to their partner through sexual contact (including skin-to-skin contact).
The HPV vaccine is most effective if administered before a person is exposed to HPV – for example, before they become sexually active. Side effects are usually mild.
For more information, visit Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term care at ontario.ca/vaccines or Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District health unit at www.hkpr.on.ca, call 1.866-888-4577 x. 1507 or ask your doctor.