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January 23, 2008
Toronto Public Health clinics offer second chance to protect young women against cervical cancer
Grade 8 females who missed their first or second dose of the HPV vaccine can get vaccinated free of charge at one of several catch-up clinics being held throughout the city next week. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that can cause cancer of the cervix and genital warts.

“This vaccine is a form of cancer prevention for young women,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Medical Officer of Health, and Director of Communicable Disease Control for the City of Toronto. “Last year, there were 500 cases and 140 deaths from cervical cancer in Ontario. These clinics are giving girls another chance to prevent this serious illness.”

Three doses of the vaccine are required for protection. Grade 8 students who attend the clinics next week will still be able to get all three doses for free during this school year. Girls who do not get the vaccine at their school or a Toronto Public Health catch-up clinic may still be vaccinated by their physicians but must pay for the shots, which cost between $400 - $500 for all three doses.

Dr. Yaffe urged parents to talk with their daughters about the vaccine, and about other steps they should take to prevent cancer and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The vaccine does not replace the need for regular Pap tests, which are recommended for girls once they become sexually active, nor does it protect against other STIs.

The clinics will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:

Monday, January 28: Scarborough Civic Centre (Rotunda), 150 Borough Dr.

Tuesday, January 29: North York Civic Centre (Members’ Lounge), 5100 Yonge St.

Wednesday, January 30: Etobicoke Civic Centre (Meeting Rooms 1, 2, 3), 399 The West Mall

Thursday, January 31: East York Civic Centre (Committee Room A), 850 Coxwell Ave.

Clinic staff will be available to answer parents’ questions about the vaccine. Parents can also get information by calling the TPH Immunization Information Line at 416-392-1250 or by visiting

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:

Susan Sperling, Media Relations Co-ordinator, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974,



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