The vaccine against cancer of the cervix is now free after the federal government recently made funding available. Females aged 12-26 can receive the vaccine.
This vaccine prevents about 70% of cancers of the cervix and is given as a course of 3 injections over 6 months.
There are two programs now operating which depend on the age of the patient:
* 12 and 13 year old girls
* 13 to 18 year old girls will be vaccinated in a free catch-up program over the next two years only
This program started in April 2007.
General practitioner program
18-26 year old women can be immunised by their GP from July 2007. There is no charge for the vaccine but there may be a fee for the GP visit.
The vaccine is not yet approved for women over the age of 26 years.
Importantly, after vaccination, sexually active women still need 2-yearly Pap smears.
For more information speak to your GP, ring the Immunise Australia National Hotline on 1800 671 811 or go to www.health.gov.au/cervicalcancer.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.Source: Winter 2007 Edition | Page 1
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