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Parents, please support school vaccinations

The Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) encourages parents and caregivers to support its school-based vaccination programme.

“From 11 February until 20 March, officials of the department will be visiting public schools to administer the first dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and the tetanus and diphtheria (Td – Diftavax) booster for free,” said Roche Butler, Overberg WCGH spokesperson. He said girls in Grade 5, with the necessary consent and who did not receive the HPV vaccine in 2019, would have another chance at this.

“In 2014, the HPV vaccine was introduced in South Africa as part of the Integrated School Health Programme. Two HPV injections, five to six months apart, are administered to Grade 5 girls with the necessary consent.” Butler said this year boys and girls in Grade 5 over age 10 would be eligible for Td-Diftavax, to prevent diphtheria and contribute to the elimination of tetanus, a serious bacterial infection causing painful muscle spasms and can lead to death.

“HPV in particular is an extremely common virus. It is estimated that approximately 80% of women will be infected with the virus some time in their lives.” Vaccines are administered by qualified professional nurses by injection in the upper arm.

Visit www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/hpv-vaccinations.

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