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Sec 1 female students to get HPV vaccination against cervical cancer

07 Mar 2019

Current and future cohorts of Secondary 1 female students can opt in to receive free Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to protect them against cervical cancer, announced Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor at her Committee of Supply debate speech on 6 March.

About 70 women die of cervical cancer every year. From 2011 to 2015, there were about 200 new cases of cervical cancer annually.

Dean, Professor Teo Yik Ying, shared two reasons for the low uptake of vaccination: low public awareness and cost. He added that the vaccination is most effective when administered around 11–13 years old and can significantly reduce the risk of cancers and genital warts.

HPV vaccination in women was assessed to be cost-effective for the prevention of cervical cancer in Singapore. Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Brunei also have similar programmes providing the vaccination in national school-based health programmes, and this is in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, Dr Khor said.

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