Girls urged to get anti-cancer vaccination

A Bradford mother is urging parents to ensure their daughters are protected against cervical cancer.

Janet Robertshaw and her daughter Megan Steele are calling on girls to have their human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to arm themselves against the potentially fatal disease for years to come.

Megan, aged 13, has completed her course of three jabs given by school nurses at Parkside School in Cullingworth.

Her mother said: "I want Megan to have the jabs while she is young enough for it to be most effective.

"Other mothers need to double check that their daughters have been immunised against this killer disease, before it's too late."

School nurses are currently vaccinating 12-year-old girls (year eight) at schools across the Bradford district.

Linda Scott, vaccination lead for NHS Bradford said: "We want to enter the new year with a parental resolution to help protect their daughters from cervical cancer.

"Even if girls have missed their first and second jab, which were given last autumn, it's not too late to come forward to receive the full course.

"If you should have had your jab last year and you missed it, then the best thing to do is contact your GP.

"Once you start the course it is essential that you have all three vaccinations over a six-month period, to make sure you have the best possible protection.

Younger girls receive their vaccination, which protects against the two strains of HPV that can cause most cervical cancers, through school. Girls aged 17 and 18 visit their local GP surgery. Many practices offer the vaccinations in the evening to make it easier for women at college or work to attend.

The Department of Health's national immunisation programme, which health chiefs say will save hundreds of lives each year, is for girls aged 12 to 18.

Around 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK and it kills around 1,000 a year.