West Sussex girls reminded to get their third dose of cervical cancer vaccine

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Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures

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Sussex Community NHS Trust (SCT) is calling on girls across West Sussex to have their third and final dose of the cervical cancer vaccine.

School nurses will start their final round of vaccination sessions in schools on Monday, 11 March with sessions in community clinics across West Sussex and Brighton & Hove for any girls who have missed a dose in school or for those that do not attend school.

Since September last year, nearly 5,000 girls (aged 12 and 13) across West Sussex and Brighton & Hove have received their first two doses of the HPV vaccine. To complete their course and be protected against the two types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), these girls should now have their final injection.

Over 2,000 women in England each year are affected by cervical cancer and 800 women die. It occurs in the cervix and is caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine protects women from two types of this virus that together cause around 70 per cent of cervical cancers.

Sara Conway, immunisation nurse specialist at SCT, said: “This is a very important vaccine – cervical cancer can kill and this vaccine protects against the viruses responsible for most cases of it. Together with regular cervical screening, it will help protect girls for life.

“Girls need to have three injections over six months to get the best protection. We urge those who have already had the first two doses of the vaccine to complete the course and have this final one.

“Parents can discuss any aspect of the vaccination programme with their daughter’s school nurse.”

Appointments can be made at community clinics. Parents are advised to contact their daughter’s school nurse or the immunisation team on: 01243 812533.

For more information about the vaccination, parents can talk to the school nurse, their GP or practice nurse or can call NHS Direct helpline 0845 4647 or visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/conditions/hpv-vaccination.