Ontario students encouraged to get HPV follow-up vaccines

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An Ontario Medical Association (OMA) podcast is emphasizing the importance of Ontario adolescents getting the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine either through their schools or public health units.

The HPV vaccine is given free to Grade 7 students in Ontario, usually in a series of two shots. The concern is that because of the pandemic, many students may have missed their follow-up vaccination. Also, male persons aged nine to 26 may also get the vaccine for free if they meet certain requirements. 

The OMA podcast featured a conversation with Dr. Amanda Selk, an obstetrician and gynecologist who practises at Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Toronto General Hospital.  

Selk said the advice is urgent.

“Human papillomavirus or HPV is a whole group of viruses. So viruses are things like colds that can make you sick. HPV are a group of about 100 different viruses that affect people and some of them can cause cancer. Some of them can cause warts. There are about 14 cancer-causing strains and a couple of wart strains. Some of the cancers they can cause are cervical cancer, vulva cancer, vaginal-anal cancer and penile cancer and even some head and neck cancers, so a lot of different things,” she …

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