12 Jan 2009

Vaccination campaign extended to US-affiliated Micronesia

4:09 pm on 12 January 2009

About 30 000 girls in the Federates States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands will be eligible to receive free vaccinations against cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is very widespread in these countries and the US Centers for Disease Controls will fund the drive with nine million US dollars.

Girls in the American territories, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, already have access to the vaccine.

A regional epidemiologist, Dr Jean-Paul Chaine, says girls between the age of 12 and 18 will receive the three required vaccinations in school or at their health clinic.

"Palau and Marshall Islands have already started and Valentine's Day is going to be the kick off for the Federated States of Micronesia. So by the end of March we'll have given the first doses in all states."

Dr Jean-Paul Chaine says girls in the remote outer islands will receive their vaccine when health teams visit these areas once a year.