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Vaccine against cervical cancer for all 12-year-old girls

The Health Ministry has announced a programme to vaccinate all 12-year-old girls against the HPV virus which can lead to cervical cancer.

Minister Joe Cassar told a press conference this morning that this was another step related to promoting sexual health and preventing cancer.

The vaccine comes in three doses and will cost the government €250,000 annually.

British Celebrity Big Brother television show contestant Jade Goody was a victim of cervical cancer.British Celebrity Big Brother television show contestant Jade Goody was a victim of cervical cancer.

Dr Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, chief medical officer at Mater Dei, said that all parents of 12-year-old girls will be receiving a request to take their daughters to health centres for the vaccination.

The vaccine is presented at age 12 before girls become sexually active.

The incidence of cervical cancer in Malta is 12 per year, low when compared to most EU countries. The mortality rate is 50%.

There are some 2,000 girls aged 12 in Malta and Gozo.

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