National PTA Calls for Suspension of HPV Campaign

The National Parents Teachers Association of Jamaica, NPTAJ, is calling for the suspension of the Human Papillomavirus, HPV, vaccination programme in schools.

The Health Ministry is administering HPV vaccines to school girls in Grade 7, as it seeks to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.

The programme was rolled out on Monday amid concerns about a lack of public education and questions about its safety.

President of the NPTAJ, Everton Hannam, says the association was never engaged about the plan by the Health Ministry to start administering the vaccine this week.

He says the NPTAJ is, therefore, calling for the suspension of the programme until there’s further education.

Mr. Hannam was speaking on Every Woman with Georgia Crawford- Williams this afternoon.

His call comes as the Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has admitted that there’ve been ‘inconsistencies’ in the public education surrounding the programme.

Dr. Tufton says there needs to be an improvement.

Amid heightened public concern, Information Minister, Ruel Reid, earlier this week said the programme would be postponed to allow for further education.

Meanwhile, Acting Director of Family Health Services in the Health Ministry, Dr. Melody Ennis, says girls will be vaccinated if they fail to return an ‘opt-out’ form, indicating that their parents do not wish for them to be given the vaccine.

She says, in such cases, the girls would be interviewed first.

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