17th March 2011
Sheffield’s HPV School Nursing Team are helping to promote vaccinations in schools by putting their own faces to the campaign.
Since September 2008 there has been a national programme, which has been overseen locally by NHS Sheffield, to vaccinate Year 8 girls against the human papilloma virus (HPV) and the new posters will be in schools across Sheffield this month.
The HPV vaccination protects the girls against the strains of the virus which are most common in causing cervical cancer.
Alison Campbell, from the School Nursing Team, said:
“It is important that girls aged 12 to 13 come to us for their HPV vaccinations as it protects them against two of the HPV strains that cause 60-70% of all cases of cervical cancer.
“We also felt that it was important for the girls to see that we are friendly and approachable people who they can speak to easily and so they feel comfortable in coming to us with any worries or concerns.
“Some may be worried about the vaccination process itself or may be unsure of the reasons or purpose behind it. And that’s why we are here; to help reassure them and to make sure they understand why we are doing it.”
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women aged under 35, after breast cancer, with 99% of cases linked to the HPV virus, which is passed through sexual contact.
The vaccination itself consists of three doses and all three injections are needed to ensure full protection against the virus.
The second injection will be given one to two months after the first injection and the third injection will be given about six months after the first. All three doses should be given within a 12-month period.
For more information contact your school nurse or go to: www.nhs.uk/conditions/HPV-vaccination/