Quebec public health promotes HPV vaccine
Quebec public health officials are using a new web campaign to try to persuade more parents to vaccinate their children against HPV, or the Human Papilloma Virus.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus associated with health problems, including cervical cancer in women.
The vaccine has been offered to pre-adolescent and teenaged girls in Quebec at no cost since 2008.
The province's online ad launched this week compares the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine to a chastity belt, positioning the vaccine as a more practical choice.
When the vaccination program was first introduced, most families agreed to participate in the program: About 80 per cent of girls in the targeted age group were vaccinated.
But that number has since gone down, and Montreal public health officials hope the new campaign will change that.
The vaccine is also being introduced for boys, and Dr. Giosi Di Meglio with the Montreal Children's Hospital said that is good news.
"They are the carriers,and I think that it makes sense if you want to block the transmission of the virus to block it in as many ways as possible."
However, some parents are apprehensive about the vaccine and wonder about its safety.
Public Health officials say there is conclusive evidence connecting cancer and HPV and that denying children the vaccine would be unethical.