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Sinn Fein call for HPV vaccinations to help reduce cervical cancer

17 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA Michelle O'Neill MLA, who is the Vice Chairperson of the Assembly Health Committee, has challenged the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to provide a HPV (human papilloma viruses) vaccination programme for 16-year-old girls this year and also to instruct officials to develop a catch-up programme for other young women.

She said

"This vaccination is a major breakthrough in the battle against cervical cancer. To get the greatest benefit from this we need to ensure that as many young women as possible are vaccinated and we must take this opportunity to protect women from cervical cancer."

"It would be irresponsible not to implement a vaccination programme as a matter of urgency as any delay would be to the detriment of the health of women in the six counties."

"On previous occasions the Health Minister has speculated about the possible introduction of a routine vaccination, however, if the Minister does not act immediately the 10,000 young girls who will be leaving school next year will miss out on the opportunity to be vaccinated against a devastating and potentially fatal disease." ENDS

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