March 17,

With HPV-caused Mouth and Throat Cancers Rising, Parents Encouraged to Vaccinate Their Kids at School Clinics

October 20, 2016 – As new research reveals increasing rates of cancers caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), Peterborough Public Health is pleased to offer the HPV vaccine to both Grade 7 boys and girls thanks to Ontario’s newly expanded student immunization program.

“In a new report from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society, released on October 18, we learned that cancers of the mouth and throat caused by HPV are rising dramatically and are poised to surpass the rate of cervical cancer,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health at PPH.  “Projections are that 1,200 Canadians will die from HPV-related cancers this year alone. We strongly encourage parents to get their children in Grade 7 vaccinated at no charge so they are protected against these cancers later in life.”

The vaccination, which was previously only offered to girls, is now available to boys as well, and continues to be offered to girls entering Grade 8 in the 2016-17 school year. PPH’s expanded delivery of this vaccine is supported by the provincial expansion of publicly-funded immunization programs aiming to protect youth from preventable infections such as HPV.

HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is safe and effective, and has demonstrated very high success in preventing the occurrence of HPV. HPV is a common virus that can lead to several types of cancer. According to Cancer Care Ontario, HPV is estimated to cause 1,090 new cancers each year in the province. The virus has been estimated to cause an average of 254 deaths and 1,000 cases of cancer in Ontario every year. These risks can be minimized through early immunization.

Information and consent forms have been provided to students, and parents are asked to review and discuss this information with their sons and daughters to ensure awareness and understanding of both HPV and the vaccine. In order to receive HPV vaccination through the school vaccine program, students must provide signed consent forms to their school in advance of the school immunization date. As an alternative, students are also able to receive the vaccine at public health vaccination clinics or through their healthcare provider.

Through partnerships with local school boards, the school immunization program is delivered within school facilities by registered public health nurses. Through this program, students in Grade 7 are also offered Hepatitis B and Meningococcal vaccine in addition to the HPV vaccine.

For more information about the HPV vaccination, visit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Website. For more information about the PPH immunization program, members of the public are invited to visit our website, or call 705-743-1000 x 129.

Read the report released by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Cancer Society here:





For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

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