As you may have read or heard on today’s lunchtime news bulletins (e.g. here and here), Minister for Health Mary Harney has done a U-turn and announced that the cervical cancer vaccine will now be rolled out.
This is after announcing the vaccination scheme in August of 2008, but then cancelling the whole thing due to budget cuts.
Now, Harney has told news outlets that due to the price of the scheme being reduced from 16 million euro to 3 million, young girls may be able to get immunisation to protect them from an aggressive form of cancer in their (slightly) older years.
Oh, and a third of that – 1 million euro – has reportedly been provided by the Irish Cancer Society. So, in this instance, a third of Ireland’s creaking health system is being propped up by a charity. [Corrected further to Steph's clarification in the comments.]
No indication yet as to when the vaccinations will commence, but RTÉ reports that it will “be offered to 30,000 girls in first year of secondary school,” so perhaps the start of the next school term.
A few comments on Twitter sum up my feelings on this:
Harney finally introduces the cervical vaccine 18 months after the initial announcement in Aug 2008. *slow clap*
– via tcmurph
Breaking news: I just heard Keane on Newstalk confirm that Maro Harney *IS* still a minister. They must’ve released her from her stasis pod.
– via SineadMcEneaney
Mary Harney does a U-turn on the cervical cancer vaccine! Bout bloody time!
– via SusanMDoyle
Harney says the Irish Cancer Society donated €1m and she has “graciously accepted it”. FAIL. You can’t use ‘graciously’ to describe yourself
– via christinebohan
In short: better late than never. ..I suppose. (Although, I hope that those who will have missed out on the vaccine due to aging out never have to experience the fear of a possible diagnosis.)
Stay tuned to this blog where hopefully we’ll be able to bring you a series of articles on women’s health relating to lesbians.