Harney announces cervical cancer vaccine U-turn

The Health Minister has today announced that she is reversing the decision not to roll out the cervical cancer vaccine for secondary school students.

Harney has announced the Government is now in a position to provide the vaccine for first-year students.

The decision came after the cost of the vaccine was negotiated down from €16m to just €3m.

The Health Minister had shelved her decision to immunise all 12-year-old girls against the human papilloma virus because the cost was too high.

It is hoped to start the programme this June, but Harney admitted there will not be a catch-up programme for girls who missed out on the jab last year.

The Minister also announced the roll out of a bowel cancer screening programme which kills around 930 people here every year.

The programme will be rolled out in two years time and target 60- to 69-year-olds.

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