Cervical cancer jab success

THOUSANDS of girls have been immunised against potentially fatal cervical cancer - thanks to a successful programme using innovative methods to encourage teens to take up the vaccination.

THOUSANDS of girls have been immunised against potentially fatal cervical cancer - thanks to a successful programme using innovative methods to encourage teens to take up the vaccination.

Since September, around 7,500 girls across Great Yarmouth and Waveney have been given the human papilloma virus vaccine.

As well as vaccinating 94pc of all year 8 pupils, nurses have also given the protection to more than 75pc of year 9, 10 and 11 pupils, as well as those no longer in full time education.

The figures place NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney as among the best performing PCTs in the east of England, and come following the introduction of a range of new initiatives to raise awareness of the injection and encourage its take up. These include:

�writing, ringing and texting pupils to remind them about the vaccination

�regular campaigns on local radio stations

Most Read

�displaying posters in hairdressers, beauty salons and tanning centres

�putting information in shop changing rooms

�hosting educational sessions for girls and their parents

�holding pink-themed days in schools

�offering the vaccination during weekends and evenings

�holding vaccination sessions at venues, such as children's centres, hospitals, colleges and community centres.

Team leader for children's services Marisa Fox, said: “Cervical cancer affects more than 2,000 people a year in the UK and causes around 400 deaths.

“The HPV vaccine offers long-term protection against the viruses which cause about 70pc of cervical cancers - which is why it is so important that as many young girls as possible take up the chance for immunisation.

“We have introduced all sorts of different innovations to help get our vaccination message across, including making the service as flexible as possible by holding sessions out of normal office hours and in convenient locations within the community.

“We've also been doing home visits to some girls who aren't in education, and hold regular information sessions for parents.”