Health Unit Concerned Over Low Rates of Use of HPV Vaccine
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says that while immunization against HPV is extremely effective in preventing numerous cancers and genital warts, about a third of local students are not taking advantage of the free HPV vaccine.
Dr. Colin Lee, Associate Medical Officer of Health says “HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancer cases, as well as other cancers including mouth, throat, and anal cancers, but our local immunization rates against the virus are far from ideal,” he said. “We need to change that. This is an excellent vaccine that helps prevent cancers and saves lives.”
The HPV vaccine is offered to Grade 7 students across the region as part of the provincial school-based HPV vaccination program. The vaccine coverage rate for Simcoe Muskoka students is stagnant at just over 68 per cent – and the rate is lower in Muskoka.
For more information check the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/HPV