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70% of girls would have cancer jab

Seven out of 10 girls could be vaccinated against the disease that causes cervical cancer, the results of a pilot study have suggested.

Girls aged 12 to 13 will receive the HPV jab from September in a programme costing up to £100m a year. They will be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus, which causes around 70% of cases of cervical cancer.

The results of a pilot study in Manchester suggested that around 70% of girls would take the jab. The HPV vaccine was offered to 2,817 girls in Year 8 across 36 secondary schools.

Published online in the British Medical Journal, the research involved two primary care trusts in Manchester in February 2007.

Parents were fully informed about the study, according to the researchers, and had to give consent for their daughters to receive the jab.

The authors found that 36% of parents did not want their child vaccinated because of a lack of information on the jab and its safety.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Being able to protect girls against cervical cancer is a tremendous opportunity. This vaccine will save lives.

"We would encourage everyone who is offered it to take it."

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British Medical Journal