24,424 girls given first dose of HPV vaccine, no adverse effects reported so far

Second dose of vaccine after six months

Gangtok, 18 Aug:

A total of 24,424 girls out of estimated 25,266 girls have received the first dose of HPV vaccine in the state-wide campaign conducted by the Department of Health Care, Human Services & Family Welfare from 30 Jul to 14 Aug.

The Human Papilloma Virus [HPV] vaccination campaign for prevention of cervical cancer covered school going girls [both from government and private school] as well as out of school girls between the age group of 09-14 years in the entire State.

A press release from the Health Department informs that 96.67% coverage has been achieved in the campaign and there have been no reports of any serious/severe Adverse Events Following Immunization [AEFI].

The vaccination campaign was well accepted by the beneficiaries and community as a whole, the release states.

The Department has informed that all girls who received the first dose of HPV vaccine will be given the second dose of the vaccine in a similar campaign to be held after six months tentatively during the month of Feb in 2019.

The department has extended gratitude to the print & electronic media, HRDD, ICDS, Panchayati Raj and other line departments, ASHA, parents, school teachers, CRH Manipal and developmental partner agencies like WHO, UNICEF and JHPIEGO for their full support and cooperation in implementing HPV vaccination campaign successfully.

The Health Department staff wasalso involved at all levels, from planning to implementation, for which the authority has expressed heartfelt gratitude.

Sikkim is the first State in the country to introduce HPV vaccine in the State free of cost. The programme is funded by the State Government and was introduced as per World HealthOrganoisation [WHO] guidelines.