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Cancer vaccination plan extended

Vaccination against the sexually-transmitted disease HPV, which causes cervical cancer, is to be extended to girls aged 14 to 18 in Wales.

It follows the success of a programme in which 20,000 girls aged 12 to 13 were vaccinated last autumn.

The Assembly Government is now spending £9m on a catch-up campaign for another 40,000 girls born between September 1991 and August 1995.

Guidance will be issued to the NHS in the coming weeks after leaflets are distributed to schools and adverts run to publicise the vaccine.

Said health minister Edwina Hart: "HPV vaccination is a very significant public health development and I would like Wales to press ahead by undertaking the catch-up campaign more quickly than planned.

"I recognise that additional efforts will be needed but am confident that local health professionals will rise to the challenge.

"We must remember that vaccination will not protect against all HPV infections so it is important that everyone attends cervical cancer screening when they are called."

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Cancer Research