HPV vaccine to be altered next year

A vaccine used to protect many schoolgirls from developing cervical cancer will change next year.

Gardasil will be used to prevent the youngsters from becoming infected with the human papilloma virus, the Department of Health has announced.

Professor David Salisbury, the director of immunisation, spoke to assure people already immunised with the previous vaccine that there will be no complications and they do not require the new medication as well.

"It will be tremendous to see rates of cervical cancer falling," he added.

Since 2008, the HPV vaccine has been administered to 1.5 million 12 to 13-year-old females, according to the government department.

Cancer Research UK states that HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.

HPV types 16 and 18 are the most likely to trigger the development of the disease, according to the charity. The virus is transferred via sexual contact and it is believed it needs to be present in the cervix for tumours to develop, meaning it has been identified as the first ever necessary cause of cancer in humans.

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