First Round of Human Papilomavirus (HPV) Vaccinations for Girls a Great Success
3 April 2014
Western Cape Government Health extends a big thank you to those parents who made the choice of protecting their daughter’s from Human Papilomavirus (HPV) related Cervical Cancer, by signing and returning the consent form. In doing so, our professional nurses were allowed to vaccinate girls aged nine and older during the first round of the HPV Campaign.
Human Papilomavirus (HPV) is an easily contracted virus and is responsible for up to 80% of Cervical Cancers. Cervarix is a vaccine that prevents the development of HPV related cervical ancer as it stops the infection from developing.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, supports the campaign and says: “The statistics show that too many of our young women die of cervical cancer. Here we have a vaccination to combat this disease. I encourage all parents and caregivers of young girls to inform and educate themselves about the vaccine and the campaign. Together, we can ensure that our daughters have a bright and healthy future.”
The preliminary feedback that has been received from the school health teams, indicate that many parents have not returned the consent form enabling vaccination. It has also come to the department’s attention that a number of anti-vaccine literatures have been posted on social media sites. Western Cape Government Health would like to make the following known to the public:
- During the period 10 March 2014 to date, 56% of girls currently in Grade 4 and attending a government or special education school in the Western Cape have been vaccinated – this amounts to around 20 000 girls.
- Of this large number of girls, there have been only 3 cases of adverse events, all related to anxiety at the thought of receiving an injection, the worst case involved nausea, and was treated accordingly.
- Only girls who received the first dose of the vaccine will receive the second dose.
Vaccination remains one of the most effective manners in which to prevent illnesses in our children. Western Cape Government Health, already offers many vaccinations that help keep children healthy. Protection against HPV is the same as these vaccinations; you are protecting your daughter’s future health.
As is the case with all new medications, people ask many questions, one of which is the question around the safety of the HPV vaccine. Published analysis regarding the safety of HPV vaccines provides evidence that autoimmune conditions, neurological diseases, and thromboembolic disease, are not triggered by the HPV vaccination. South Africa will be using the vaccine Cervarix®, which has proven effective and has minimal, if any side effects.
Other factors to consider when making the decision whether or not to vaccinate your daughter against HPV:
- No adverse reactions were attributable to the vaccine serum, Cervarix® during trials.
- The vaccine does not contain any ingredient that can have an effect on: Fertility, menstruation, hormonal activity and/or age of sexual debut.
- The vaccine prevents HPV infection in the same manner that other vaccines prevent illnesses
- Western Cape Government Health personnel who will be administering the injections have received training specifically in how to manage adverse effects, and events during and after the campaign. Patient safety is our priority.
For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which is available in all three languages, please visit:
Principal Communications Officer
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 023 348 8100
Cell: 072 808 0106