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Boys going private for HPV vaccine—specialist
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is being given privately to boys in T&T once their parents can afford to shell out between $3,000 and $4,000 for the six-month treatment Dr Sherene Kalloo said yesterday. A specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist, she was named Aspire’s Woman of the Year at the organisation’s annual breakfast meeting at Capital Plaza, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
Aspire is an advocacy group which has been clamouring for years for the decriminalisation of abortion. Kalloo said in the US it was compulsory for 12-year-old boys to be given the vaccine which prevented HPV type six and 11 which caused genital warts. The vaccine also prevented type 16 and 18 of the virus, which were responsible for causing 70 percent of cervical cancer.
She added: “Boys in Trinidad who are willing to take it and whose parents are willing to give it to them have been getting the HPV vaccine. “They are getting it at the private institutions, at the family practitioner, at the paediatrician, at the gynaecologist. It’s available privately.” Saying she would recommend the vaccine be administered in public schools, Kalloo said that was an initiative which would not be done overnight.
“Eventually it would be done but I suspect it would take some time. Maybe in about two years or so it should begin. That’s how long it took in the US for them to get it to the boys,” Kalloo added. In January this year the Health Ministry targeted 20,000 girls, aged 11 and 12, to receive vaccinations in the first phase of its voluntary HPV vaccination programme.
The HPV virus, the ministry added, was the cause of 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases globally. Kalloo said the controversy that arose when the Catholic Education Board first rejected the vaccine made people more aware of its benefits.
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