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Grade 4 girls get HPV vaccine shots

By: Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce

Nearly 200 female Grade 4 students were vaccinated yesterday against an infection that causes cervical cancer, which kills more than 12 women daily and is the second leading cancer-related deaths worldwide.

The Department of Health (DoH), in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), vaccinated some 180 Grade 4 female students during the launch of the school-based Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunization at the Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City, with the consent of the parents.

“Shifting the HPV vaccination from a community-based to a school-based approach enables us to provide vaccination services to a ‘catch’ population. We will be able to reach high coverage and dropout rate will be minimized,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said.

“School health settings will provide good opportunities to integrate vaccine delivery with other health interventions like health information and warnings against tobacco and drug use,” she added.

In the Philippines, more than 6,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year.

“HPV vaccination is part of the DoH’s National Immunization Program. Vaccination is a basic right of children and no child shall be deprived of this right. Our children are one of the most important assets of this country; therefore, every effort should be made to promote their welfare and optimum development. They should be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. And what better way to do this than through vaccination,” Ubial stated.