Canada: Report Urges Long-Term Funding for HPV Vaccine
September 18, 2008
Toronto Public Health is recommending that city board of health officials urge the province to provide longer-term funding for a program to vaccinate eighth-grade girls against human papillomavirus (HPV). A report detailing that and other recommendations will be submitted to the board's Thursday meeting at city hall.
Last year, the federal government began funding a three-year program to help provinces provide the HPV shots. The vaccine is free for girls whose parents consent to the series. In Toronto schools last year, more than 13,000 eighth-grade girls were eligible, and 8,000 had received the first shot of the three-dose inoculation as of July 1 this year. Toronto public health officials want the program to continue beyond the three years during which the federal government is providing a subsidy.
"If we stop after three years we'll have a vaccine-preventable disease but won't be able to give [Gardasil] to girls who need it," said Dr. Vinita Dubey, an associate medical officer of health for Toronto. If girls had to get the shots at a doctor's office, uptake would be less, she said. "You have girls in schools whose parents sign the consent forms, and girls get it for free."
Other recommendations in the report include lobbying the province to provide a "short-term HPV catch-up program" for females in ninth through 12th grades; and asking the federal government to commit to a "once eligible, always eligible" policy for eighth-grade girls up to their 18th birthday.
09.17.2008; Donovan Vincent
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.