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Kirsty Williams welcomes introduction of new cancer prevention jab

2011 Tachwedd 25 10:09 AM

The Department of Health has decided to change the vaccine it uses to protect girls against cervical cancer throughout the UK.

From September next year the NHS will provide the Gardasil jab, which also offers protection against genital warts - one of the most common sexually transmitted infections.

Some sexual health experts criticised the decision in 2008 when the Department of Health opted for the cheaper of the two vaccines on offer - Cervarix.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, commented:

"I welcome the government's decision to introduce the Gardasil jab to protect girls against cervical cancer. It is now important that the government renews its efforts to encourage uptake of the vaccine. It is absolutely essential that those who have already received the vaccine continue to see their HP for routine smear tests.

"Every effort must be made to find targeted ways to educate and persuade younger women to attend screening once they have received an invite from their local GP. It is estimated that the screening programme prevents almost 200 cases of cervical cancer in Wales every year. Sadly, the uptake here in Wales is still far too low. Some women aren't having their smear test because they are too embarrassed. It has to be made clear that this is something that can save their life."