HPV vac­cine ap­proved

Central Leader - - SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

Boys and young men will be able to ac­cess free cer­vi­cal can­cer vac­cines.

Phar­mac an­nounced on July 28 changes to funded vac­cines which also in­cludes mak­ing the chick­en­pox vac­cine funded for all chil­dren.

Di­rec­tor of Op­er­a­tions Sarah Fitt says the changes would ben­e­fit 100,000 peo­ple and were able to be made fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with sup­pli­ers.

The hu­man pa­pil­lo­mavirus (HPV) vac­cine, com­monly known as the gar­dasil vac­cine, was pre­vi­ously funded for girls to pre­vent the HPV virus and cer­vi­cal can­cer.

As of Jan­uary next year, it will be avail­able for all chil­dren in the school vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme, as well as adults un­til they are 26 years old.

The pro­gramme will also use a dif­fer­ent vac­cine which will cover more strains of the virus and chil­dren un­der 14 will only need two in­jec­tions. For those aged 15 to 26, three doses would be re­quired - but also funded.

‘‘Preventing ill­nesses through vac­ci­na­tions is im­por­tant to the health of all New Zealan­ders, as they don’t just help the peo­ple re­ceiv­ing them, but also their fam­ily and whanau, and wider so­ci­ety,’’ Fitt says.

The changes have cre­ated sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings and widens ac­cess to peo­ple and de­creases the over­all cost to New Zealand, she says.

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