2 Mar 2009

Fiji health officials start third dose of anti-cervical cancer drug

4:41 pm on 2 March 2009

Fiji health officials are rushing to vaccinate girls with the last dose of the anti-cervical cancer drug, Gardasil, before it expires in June.

The International drug manufacturer, Merck, has donated the vaccine against the human papillomarvirus.

It was initially targetted at 30,000 nine to twelve year old girls, but was extended to up to twenty year olds due to a low uptake.

The adviser on family health at Fiji's Health Ministry Dr Josiah Samuela says they have now vaccinated about 23 000 girls with the first two doses.

Dr Samuela says health teams are now in the final stage of the vaccination campaign.

"The school health team nurses have started to give the third and final dose of Gardasil. Our focus now is to give the third dose to girls who have had the first and second doses."

Dr Josiah Samuela expects there'll be between 2- and 5-thousand doses left over when the vaccine expires in four months.