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Harney decision on cervical cancer vaccine must be reversed – Ó Caoláin

6 August, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Responding to the decision by Health Minister Mary Harney not to proceed with the recommended catch-up vaccine for cervical cancer for 13 to 15-year-old girls, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinTD has described it as "an atrocious decision that must be reversed".

The Sinn Féin Dáil leader stated:

"A comprehensive vaccination programme against cervical cancer has been long demanded and was finally conceded by Government afgter much pressure. This form of cancer kills some 70 women in the 26 Counties every year.

"The Minister's announcement of the roll-out of a vaccination programme for 12-year-olds from 2009 is welcome but her decision no to proceed with the catch-up programme for 13 to 15 year olds is atrocious. The catch-up programme was recommended by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and will be implemented in the Six Counties and Britain.

"The Minister has made this decision to make a short-term so-called saving, cutting a once-off spend of some €30 million but at far greater long-term cost in terms of the health of women and the costs of treatment. This decision must be reversed." ENDS

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