New HPV vaccine to protect teenage girls from cancer and genital warts

Cervical cancer screening
Image caption The vaccine helps protect thousands of Scottish women, the government said.

A new vaccine will be used to protect teenage girls against a virus which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts, the Scottish government says.

During the new school term, a different vaccine will be given to protect girls from human papilloma virus (HPV).

Gardasil will be used rather than Cervarix, which was previously given.

Cervarix protects against two strains of HPV, while Gardasil is said to offer protection from four, as well as protecting against genital warts.

The HPV vaccine, which is given in three doses, will continue to be offered to girls in their second year of secondary school, when they are about 13 years old.

The scheme was launched in 2008.

Sir Harry Burns, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, said: "This programme plays a critical part in helping to protect thousands of Scottish women from a disease that can attack them in the prime of their lives.

"It was established first and foremost to protect against cervical cancer, however, the fact that the new vaccine also provides protection against genital warts is an added benefit.

"In Scotland we have seen very high levels of uptake of the vaccine over the first four years of the programme, and I am confident that will continue to be the case in the future."

Gardasil will now be used across the UK following a procurement exercise by the Department of Health on behalf of the four UK health departments.

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