B.C. expands HPV vaccine for women up to 26
VANCOUVER - British Columbia is expanding its HPV vaccination program in an attempt to reduce young women's chances of getting cervical cancer.
The human papillomavirus is sexually transmitted and kills one Canadian woman every day.
B.C. is thought to be the first province to expand its program, offering a free vaccine to women up to 26 years old.
Dr. Monika Naus (NOW-s), medical director of the immunization service at the BC Centre for Disease Control, says the vaccine has been proven to prevent 70 per cent of cancers of the cervix.
About 70 per cent of young women in B.C.'s school-based programs have been vaccinated, but Naus says the number of 19-to-21-year-old women who used it was much lower than expected last year.
Prince Edward Island announced earlier this year that it would be expanding its vaccination program to boys in Grade 6, but Naus says the cost benefit for a boys' program in B.C. hasn't yet been proven.