Cervarix to roll out to 300,000 more girls
This article was originally published in Scrip
A further 300,000 girls will receive GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix this year under plans by the UK's Department of Health to extend the national HPV vaccination programme to girls aged 17 to 18 from September. They will be vaccinated alongside the routine vaccination of girls aged between 12 and 13, which also starts in September. This means that girls who would not otherwise have been included in the catch-up programme will now be vaccinated this school year; the catch-up programme is due to start as planned in 2009-10 in those aged between 15 to 18. "This could save an additional 400 lives," commented health minister Dawn Primarolo. Primary care trusts will receive an additional £10 million in the 2008-09 financial year to implement the extra programme. Cervarix is designed to protect against the two strains of the HPV virus which cause 70% of cases of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women.