By SHAWN BELL, SRJ Reporter 29.JUN.09
All grade four girls in the NWT will be offered a free vaccine to prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) starting in September 2009.
The GNWT department of Health and Social Services announced the vaccine
program on June 16. A catch-up program for girls in grades 9-12 will
also be offered over the next five years.
“One death attributed to cervical cancer is too many,” said Sandy Lee,
minister of Health and Social Services in a press release. “We are
taking action to prevent the spread of HPV, but more importantly to
The vaccine, Gardasil, protects against HPV types 16 and 18, which
cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers, and types 6 and 11, which cause
90 per cent of genital warts.
Fourteen new cases of cervical cancer have been reported in the NWT
over the past ten years. During that time five women died of cervical
Previously the NWT and Nunavut were the only jurisdictions in Canada not providing the vaccine.
Candice Lys, HPV project coordinator with the Arctic Health Research
Network-NT, said it is great that the NWT has caught up with the rest
of Canada in terms of offering the vaccine.
“Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, and the second
most common cancer in women between 20 and 44,” Lys said. “So if we can
prevent cancer, I’m all for the vaccine.”
Lys added the vaccine has been approved in over 90 countries worldwide.
“The vaccine has been studied across the world,” she said. “Almost 100
per cent of women studied have developed antibodies for types 16 and 18
of the HPV virus.”
Parents will be sent a letter from the GNWT in the fall, explaining the
vaccine and letting them know when public health nurses will be in
their child’s school. They will then have the option of allowing their
daughter to receive the vaccine.
The cost of the first year of the vaccine program, $388,000, will be
funded through a federal trust fund that helps jurisdictions start the
program. Additional years of the program will cost the GNWT roughly
Comment from Leslie
Innocent babies getting the Gardasil vaccine – most without access to the controversy surrounded the safety and efficacy of the job. Most in good pure health – and will be injected with toxins and a genetically modified virus. I wonder what kind of tracking system is in place in NWT?