Toronto Public Health offers HPV catch-up program

by | Sep 18, 2012 | News

Toronto Public Health clinics are now offering a one-time, free of charge chance for young women to get the HPV vaccination.
By: Neetu Thind

Toronto community clinics will give more young women a chance to prevent cervical cancer. COURTESY Flickr

The HPV catch-up program is now in effect to provide public funded vaccinations to female students that missed the standard vaccination time, Janice, a nurse with Toronto Public Health, told Humber News.

According to Toronto Public Health, women born between 1993-98 are eligible for the publicly funded vaccine from now until June 2013.

The first clinic opened in Scarborough on Monday and other community clinics will open in Toronto for specific vaccination dates into 2013.

The vaccine provides protection against four types of the common Human Papillomavirus, some of which are responsible for 70 per cent of cervical cancer, according to Health Canada.

The virus also can cause other genital cancers and genital warts in both females and males.

Pharmacist Samy Mak told Humber News the vaccine is very important for young adults.

“The earlier you can get it, the better,” he said.

Health Canada said vaccination against the virus is most effective prior to having sexual activity, however it is not too late for sexually active individuals to receive the vaccine.

“Females and males should protect themselves against the virus because all it takes is one infected partner to affect the other,” said Mak.

Since HPV is very common and immunization itself is very safe, it is important to have it in the national immunization program, said Mak.

Without government funding, the vaccinations can cost upwards of $500.

However, many insurance plans can cover a portion of the cost, said Mak.

The student insurance plan at Humber can cover 80 per cent of the cost for men and women if they are not eligible for the HPV catch-up program, said Mak.

For more information on community clinics in Toronto offering the vaccine, visit Toronto Public Health or call the immunization line at 416-392-1250.