Letters to the Editor

HPV program details

Options for Sexual Health is pleased that the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has announced a new HPV vaccination program for young women aged 19-21 years old.

I would however like to clarify the details surrounding the vaccine. Women who will be taking advantage of the catch-up vaccination program will not receive the same HPV vaccine that girls have been receiving in B.C. schools since 2008.

The new one-time catch-up program for women 19-21 years old protects against cervical cancer in women only. The HPV vaccination program operating in Canadian schools since 2008 for girls provides not only the same protection against cervical cancer, but also protects against vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and very importantly, anal cancer and genital warts in men and women.

It is well known that genital warts place a significant burden on the individual and the health care system in both men and women.  Genital warts are not covered in the newly announced catch-up HPV vaccine program. Men are not included in any publicly funded vaccination program for HPV in Canada.

For more information please see http://www.hpvinfo.ca/  or email info@optbc.org


Dr. Unjail Malhotra

Medical Director, Options for Sexual Health British Columbia

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