Toronto Public Health (TPH) is expanding the free Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunization program to protect more young women from this common virus. Females born between 1993 and 1998, who missed the full (three-dose) course of the vaccine when they were in Grade 8, can now get the vaccine for free from TPH.
TPH is sending information to Toronto parents to inform them the HPV vaccine is available to protect their daughters from cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine would typically cost $450 for all three doses, but is available at no cost due to provincial funding. The program begins September 17 at six TPH clinic locations, including the Scarborough Civic Centre.
“We began immunizing young girls with this vaccine five years ago. We know that it is safe and it works,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “I encourage parents to take advantage of this expanded immunization program for their daughters. This vaccine saves lives and offers protection to young women against the two most common types of cervical cancer.”
Health organizations around the world including the Public Health Agency of Canada, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend this cancer prevention vaccine.
Three in four people will become infected with HPV in their lifetime and 390 Canadian women die annually from cervical cancer. Over 79 million doses of this vaccine have been given worldwide. Parents with questions about the vaccine can call TPH’s Immunization Line at 416-392-1250 or visit www.toronto.ca/health.