Mon, 11/05/2009 – 03:47 — smashdracs
Almost 80 schools across the country have opted not to give their female students the vaccine, designed by Queensland scientist and former Australian of the Year Ian Frazer.
It has been widely adopted in Australia, where it is given freely through all high schools to girls aged 12 and over.
But it has been the subject of controversy in New Zealand, with moral campaigners objecting to vaccinating girls against a cancer they can get only through sexual activity.
This is despite expectations that the drug, which blocks against two strains of human papilloma virus that cause cervical cancer, will halve the cancer’s death rate.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health revealed today that 78 schools – five per cent of the total – had chosen not to take part in the program.
Reasons were not given but it is believed many religious schools had refused on moral grounds, while other institutions did not have enough good information about the benefits of the vaccine.