Britain criticized for vaccination delay

Oct 13, 2007

Critics say delaying a cervical cancer vaccination program could condemn 1,400 more British girls to develop the disease and 420 to die from it.

Government health advisers are expected to recommend next week that all 12-year-old girls be routinely vaccinated against the virus, The Telegraph reported Saturday.

But the program is not due to start until September 2008, leaving at risk the 1,400 girls who could benefit from the vaccination this year, the British newspaper reported.

The issue is controversial because the virus primarily is spread through sexual contact and some worry the vaccine will encourage underage sex.

British health ministers have been accused of backsliding on the issue of mass vaccination, which already is conducted in France, Germany, the United States and Australia.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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