DOH eyes free HPV vaccines

CEBU CITY, Cebu - Free immunization against human papilloma virus, which increases the risk of cervical cancer, will be introduced starting next year, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Speaking at the recent 4th Asian Vaccine Congress (ASVAC 2013), here, Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said the vaccines will be given to female children ages 11-13.

Although, not everyone can avail of the free HPV vaccination Tayag expressed confidence that it will help reduce deaths related to cervical cancer.

HPV infection is said to cause over 90 percent of cervical cancer cases, which kills 12 Filipino women every year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the Philippines, cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most common cancer in women between the ages of 15-44, next to breast cancer.

However, cervical cancer is highly preventable with early detection through screening and vaccination.
In a related development, Tayag revealed that the government has been very serious in its immunization campaign with P1.9 billion allocation this year while another P3.4 billion is expected for 2014 in line with the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the Aquino administration.