10-year-old girls set to be vaccinated against cervical cancer
The government is set to spend 800million in the roll out of the cervical cancer vaccine. The roll out is expected to kick of on Friday, 18th October 2019.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has confirmed that already 1.3 million doses of the injectable vaccine in stock, which is more than enough for the first round of the vaccination.
The vaccine will be administered to the school going girls in 2 round. The doses are supposed to be administered 6months apart.
Initially, there had been claims that the HPV Vaccine is not safe for the girls and that it was immoral to vaccinate 10year old girls who were not sexually active.
The CS denied these claims and said that in the trial phase conducted in Kitui County in 2013, there was no adverse side effect of the vaccine.
“We did not record any adverse side effects. It is therefore correct to assume that as we scale up we will not report any side effects. However, in normal vaccination, the tissues area of the injection of usually swell,” said the CS.
However, studies as carried out in the US have shown that the vaccines efficacy increases when given to girls yet to be sexually active as the HPV virus is sexually transmitted and by then, they would have built a strong immunity.
The CS said the girls will be vaccinated across the 9,000 health facilities including the faith based hospitals and also through school outreaches programmes that will be pre-planned by the ministry and counties.
The roll out makes Kenya the 16th country in Africa and 97th globally to introduce the vaccine which aims to protect girls against the Human Papilloma virus(HPV) a major cause of 99 per cent of cervical cancer cases.