Govt reschedules second cervical cancer vaccination

Ministry of Health says it has rescheduled the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) second dose vaccination from July 2019 to January 2020.

The human papilloma virus is a leading cause of most cervical cancers which remain a leading cause of deaths among women aged between 15 and 49.

In a circular Ministry of Health Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Programme Manager, Temwa Mzengeza said the postponement was due to logistical issues and a change of administration strategy.

Mzengeza said this followed a thorough assessment on all strategies by the National Task Force (NTF) Committee for HPV introduction which endorsed the school based approach when administering HPV vaccine once every year.

Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr Dan Namalika told YFM in an interview on Thursday that the second dose has already arrived in the country.

“The HPV vaccine is in the country but one thing the nation should know is that once a person has received first dose, that particular person can receive the second dose at any time between six months to 15 months, that’s why people should not be worried,” Namalika said.

He further said that the ministry has opted to use the school approach since that’s where they get high turnout.

About 80 percent of girls aged 9 to 14 received the Human Papilloma virus vaccine in the first phase of administration in January 2019 to protect them from the disease.

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