The Yellowknife Catholic School Board will vote Wednesday night on whether to offer the HPV vaccine in their schools.

Human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted disease which has been linked to cervical cancer.

The vaccine has been controversial among Catholic school boards in the South due to religious beliefs around sex.


University of Miami pediatrician Judith L. Schaechter, M.D. (L) gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl in her office at the Miller School of Medicine on September 21, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The vaccine for human papillomavirus, or HPV, is given to prevent a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer. (File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In Yellowknife, the Catholic School Board banned the vaccine in 2009, saying there was not enough medical information about it. Now the board is revisiting the issue.

"I would think based on medical information, the extent of difficulties that come from taking this drug are close to none and that the consequences of getting this virus and what it can do is quite ghastly," said Simon Taylor, the chair of the Yellowknife District School Board.

Health Canada approved the vaccine for women and girls in 2006.

Before the vote, a group called HPV Canada will give a presentation to parents and the board on why the vaccine is necessary.

If the board votes in favour of the vaccine, it will develop a vaccination program for Grade 5 and Grade 9 girls.