Updated HPV Vaccination Program Needed

Many Canadian women understand the importance of getting vaccinated for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), but the same cannot be said of their male counterparts. As a result, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) has advised the federal government to enhance its national immunization strategy; a blatant lack of access to HPV vaccination programs for young men in Canada has needlessly put the health of many Canadians at risk.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in Canada, with approximately three out of every four sexually active Canadians becoming infected with it at some point in their lives. This ailment causes five per cent of all cancers worldwide, and about 70 per cent of all cervical cancer cases, accounting for around 400 deaths per year in Canada.

In its March 2007 budget, the federal government provided $300 million to the provinces and territories in support of a national HPV vaccination program for young women. However, few provinces in the country offer this protection to young men. Because of this, the CPhA will be heavily advocating the enhancement of Canada’s National Immunization Strategy in the upcoming federal election.

“Infectious diseases, such as HPV, continue to pose a significant threat to the health of Canadians,” says Carlo Berardi, chair of the CPhA. “Immunization is the safest, most effective way to prevent, control and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. The evidence is clear: vaccination saves lives.”