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Delaying HPV vaccinations is "government neglect"

Leaving child HPV vaccinations until July next year is "unacceptable" and amounts to "government neglect", a leading cervical cancer charity says.

Jo's Trust is calling on the government to act now to protect the lives of 300,000 young girls who will miss out on the HPV vaccination this year.

The Trust believes the vaccination should be made available to the largest possible number of women to make sure they are protected against this now "largely preventable cancer".

Jo's Trust Director Pamela Morton said: "There are currently approximately 310,000 16-year-old girls in England. If they are not vaccinated during this school year they will leave in July 20008, unprotected from a very common virus, which could impact on their future fertility and quality of life and at worse, cause their death.

"This is unacceptable and if not addressed could leave this government culpable of negligence."

The Trust says that the government should recognise the benefits of vaccinating all girls in compulsory education up to the age of 16.

They add that a scheme should be introduced where young women up to the age of 26-years-old can self refer to their GP for 2 years after the school based programme is introduced.

Pamela Morton continues: "Organised screening and vaccination programmes will prevent cervical cancer in future generations so I beg the government to not delay and take this chance to do something of real and lasting value for women."

Jo's Trust

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Clinical Zone: Children's health

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"Yes. I am 26 and my first smear was delayed until I was 25 due to the change in age meaning I ended up with cancer that could have been caught at a pre-cancer level or even prevented by this vaccine. Every woman should be offered it regardless of their age, especially if they've had abnormal results in the past"- Claire, Co Durham

"Yes" - Claire Marten, Leeds

"Yes, the government should definitely bring in HPV vaccinations. If this vaccine can save someone from getting cervical cancer why delay?" - Aurora, Illinois