Girls to get second call up for cancer jab

Health officials are to make a second appeal to teenage girls to get vaccinated against some types of cervical cancer because of the lower-than-expected take-up rate so far.

On Tuesday it emerged that just 60% of teenage girls eligible for the vaccination turned up for their injection in the first week of the programme. Officials had expected a 70% to 75% take-up rate.
And the government’s public health institute RIVM has accused an medical lobby group NVKP of spreading misleading information about the vaccine.
‘You are damaging women’s heath. I call on you to only give parents and girls information which is based on facts,’ RIVM virologist Roel Coutinho wrote in a letter to the lobby group on Tuesday.
The RIVM says the vaccine is totally safe and will prevent some 80% of cases of cervical cancer, which kills 100 or 200 women a year in the Netherlands (estimates vary).
The NVKP says the government is too optimistic about vaccine’s role in preventing cervical cancer. It also points out that the Netherlands has a very broad screening programme for all women aged over 30.

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