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HPV vaccines now being offered to women up to age 45 – MOH

New Guidelines for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines have revealed that it can now be taken by women up to age of 45, where previously it could only be taken by teenagers.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and is known to cause several types of cancers. Cervical cancer is caused by infection due to HPV.

The HPV vaccine offers a long-lasting, reliable defence against the HPV infection. It is more effective if taken at a younger age. It can only prevent, not treat, cervical cancer.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony recently disclosed that the criteria for the vaccine which helps prevent certain cancers have changed.

“We were only offering these vaccines for persons, both male, and female, nine to 15 years of age, but the new guidelines published by all the reputable organisations dealing with cervical cancer would have advised that we could go beyond 15 years of age. And that is why we have now updated our schedule to include persons beyond 15 years of age, who can access the vaccines. Previously a woman who was 26 years of age could not have had access to these vaccines,

The minister noted that women ages 19 to 45 should receive three doses of the vaccine. Additionally, people with compromised immune systems are given a three-dose regimen.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Minister Anthony says cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among women in Guyana.

This, he explains, is why the Ministry has embarked on a campaign to educate and raise awareness on the importance of the HPV vaccine.

“We can prevent this by ensuring that all women in Guyana get vaccinated, so that’s one of the reasons why we have this campaign to educate, especially young people, about HPV vaccination, what it can do what it can prevent, and once persons get it, would prevent them from getting these types of cancers,”

The HPV vaccines were first launched in Guyana in 2012.


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