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Cervical cancer vaccine to be rolled out, after all

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.

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4 Comments

  • thanks for this, very helpful, I am thinking if you can join earth cancer society, because I noticed that you are interested in cancer topics, maybe you can give some advice to the believers. I call cancer patients believers, because I want them to believe that they overcome this challenge.

    Vic said:
  • Eh, sorry to have to tell you this but… the 1 million euro donated by the Irish Cancer Society, is for the bowel cancer screening programme NOT the cervical cancer vaccine!!!

    Whatever, today is a good day for cancer care in Ireland.

    steph said:
  • Media reports are stating that the same group of girls who would have received the vaccine if it was rolled out a year ago will still receive it because it will be administered to first year students but if it had rolled out in 2009, it would have been given to sixth class pupils. The point is somewhat obfuscated though so I’m not sure. Anyone know for sure if there are girls who will have missed out on being vaccinated because of the delay?

    I’m by-no-means a fan of Mary Harney’s but I will grant her this: To get the pharmaceutical companies in those cost negotiations to go from €16 million to €3 million is a meritorious achievement. The question now is can the same negotiating acumen be used in other deadlocked healthcare negotiations?

    orange said:
  • [...] myriad types of HPV, some of which can cause warts and some of which can cause cancers including cervical cancer, or cancers of the vulva, vagina or anus.  “So, women who are lesbians should be having smear [...]

    So you think you’re a healthy lesbian..? | gaelick said:
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