Plan to give HPV vaccine to girls at earlier age

PHOTO: Plan to give HPV vaccine to girls at earlier age

The state will suggest that girls as young as 12 years old be given human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination against cervical cancer owing to boys becoming sexually active at a younger age.

State Women, Family, Health and Community Development Committee chairman Dr Robia Kosai said girls currently received the HPV shots when they reached 13 but it should be administered at an earlier age.

"Cervical cancer is primarily transmitted through sexual activities.

"We should be concerned as boys are reportedly becoming sexually active from as young as 15," she said.

However, she noted that circumcision among men was encouraged as it helped reduce the risk of their female partners contracting cervical cancer.

She said that from 2005 to 2009, a total of 530 cervical cancer cases were recorded in the state but the actual figure was probably higher due to unrecorded cases.

To minimise the danger, she said the state also promoted the importance of HPV shots through advertisements and talks by the health department.

Dr Robia was replying to questions posed by Dr Sheikh Ibrahim Salleh (BNSungai Abong) and T. Murukasvary (BNTenggaroh).