Free HPV vaccines

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society
is putting out a last call for girls and women to come forward to take
advantage of the remaining batch of Human Papilloma Virus vaccinations, free of
charge.

Last August, the Cancer Society
partnered with the Health Services Authority’s Public Health Department to
offer the vaccination to girls aged between 11 and 17. Now, females aged nine
to 26 can avail of the free vaccine for a week this month.

The Human Papilloma virus, an
extremely common virus, can lead to pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions of the
cervix, vagina and vulva, as well as genital warts. 

Two strains of this virus are
attributed to causing 70 per cent of all cases of cervical cancer – the fifth
leading cause of cancer death amongst women and one of the most commonly diagnosed
cancers in Caribbean women.

The Public Health Department is
providing Gardasil, the HPV vaccine that protects against the two strains, as
well as the two strains that cause 90 per cent of all cases of genital warts.

A number of doses of the HPV
vaccine remain and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Public Health
Department announced that it would offer the remaining doses free of charge at
the Public Health Department from 7–11 June, between 3pm and 6pm, on a
first-come, first-served basis to those aged between nine and 26.

The vaccine is given in three doses
over a six-month period at specified intervals. 

In order for a female to be
protected, she will need to have all three doses of the vaccine. 

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society
said it would ensure that all females receiving their first doses from 7-11
June would also receive the subsequent two doses at no cost. 

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