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NHS offers HPV jab to females under 22

NHS Lincolnshire are asking females between 14 and 22 who may not have received the HPV vaccine to contact their GP.

The HPV vaccine, which national programme began in September 2008, protects women from two common strains of human papilloma virus (HPV-16 and HPV-18), which account for 70% of cervical cancers (pictured).

The three-course vaccine is now given to Year 8 girls in school, however a number of women may have missed some or all of the immunisation.

This may be due to moving schools, sickness or the school not administering the injection at the time.

Nurse Consultant Public Protection for NHS Lincolnshire Janine Rayfield said: “It is important that females between the ages of 14-22 who think they may not have had all three HPV injections to contact their GP surgery.

“Girls can arrange to complete their course of three injections which will give them the best possible protection against cervical cancer causing viruses.

“Doses may have been missed for a variety of reasons but what is important is that it is not too late.

“We are working closely with GP surgeries as part of a catch up programme to ensure that females who have not completed the course can still get vaccinated.

“If you’re not entirely sure we would urge you to get in contact with your GP practice to discuss.”

From 25, women can also arrange to have a smear test, which can also detect other kinds HPV and cervix issues.

“Because the vaccine does not protect against all of the other types of HPV, women will still need to have a smear test from 25 years of age,” she added.

“Your GP will invite you for the cervical screening that picks up early signs of changes in the cervix.”