Cancer vaccinations start in schools1st September 2008
Girls attending schools in Scotland will be "the first in the UK" to receive vaccinations against cervical cancer.
Lanarkshire, Tayside, Grampian and Western Isles NHS regions will see schools within their perimeters give vaccinations to 12-13 year old female students this week.
Scottish pupils are the first to get the vaccine because Scotland's school year is already underway.
Students in other parts of the UK will receive vaccinations in the next few weeks, so that all females aged between 12-17 will have been offered vaccinations by August 2009.
The Cervarix vaccination fights HPV, which is the cause of cervical cancer. The company which makes it - GlaxoSmithKline - said "it should prevent 70% of cases".
The vaccine is administered in three doses and costs around £240. This is the most costly routine vaccination to be provided by the health service.
Dr Clare McKenzie, a consultant gynaecologist at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, said to BBC Scotland: "This is a really exciting step to have discovered the cause of a cancer, to have identified what causes it and then to find a vaccine to eradicate it.
"Here in Tayside we will see up to 30 cases of new cervical cancer a year. With the vaccine being up to 70% effective, we expect to see 21 less women a year."
Dr McKenzie added that it was still vital that women attended cervical screening tests.
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Title: Cancer vaccinations start in schools
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 8063
Date Added: 1st Sep 2008