Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26.
The territory announced the change to the vaccine program Oct. 19, noting that the current program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14.
“We are pleased to be expanding the HPV vaccination program to include all individuals up to their 27th birthday,” Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said in a statement. “Expanding the eligibility for this immunization will offer more Yukoners protection from HPV-related cancers caused by HPV. Increased funding for public vaccine coverage was a recommendation in the Putting People First report and will improve Yukoners well-being and quality of life.”
HPV is a common virus spread mainly through sexual contact.
It’s estimated that three out of four sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives and that HPV infection is related to almost all cases of cervical cancer and many other HPV-related cancers in both males and females, the Yukon government highlighted in its statement.
The government went on to note the vaccine is typically provided in schools starting when children are in Grade 6.
It’s most effective when administered before an individual is sexually active.
If a Yukoner hasn’t received the vaccine in school or has not had the required dose (which depends on age), they will be able to make an appointment with their local health centre or pharmacy to get it.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org