As part of the province’s school immunization program, grade six boys can now receive the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for free. This is an expansion of the existing program for grade six girls.
Approximately 15, 000 grade six students will be eligible to receive the free HPV vaccine. According to the province, HPV vaccines are most effective when given to young people. The province adds HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted virus in Canada and is linked to a number of cancers, including mouth, throat and cervical cancers.
“Our province has one of the most comprehensive vaccination programs in Canada. We are pleased to provide $750,000 annually for this additional investment in the health and well-being of our children,” says Health Minister Jim Reiter in a statement.
Health officials are encouraging parents to ensure all of their children’s vaccinations are up to date as school is back in session.
“Immunization is the most effective way to protect your children against infectious diseases that can be very serious or even deadly. I urge parents to ensure children are fully vaccinated to maximize the benefits of immunization,” says Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab in a statement.
Publicly-funded routine vaccinations are available in Saskatchewan at public health clinics (for pre-school children) and through school-based programs.