Fight goes global
A SUPERCHARGED vaccine that protects against several deadly cancers will be provided for free to all boys and girls aged 12-13 from next year.
Gardasil 9, which is an improved version of the Australian-developed vaccine, will protect recipients against nine strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) — up from four — and could prevent almost 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases worldwide.
Some high-risk HPV types can cause serious illness and are responsible for about 5 per cent of all cancers worldwide including cervical cancer, some forms of throat cancers and anal cancer.
Health Minister Greg Hunt will today announce the new vaccine will be rolled out in high schools next year, meaning students will need only two doses of the strengthened vaccine instead of three.
A study of more than 14,000 people worldwide found the new vaccine can protect people against 90 per cent of HPVs that cause cervical cancer.