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February 2, 2009
Winter catch-up clinics help protect young women against cervical cancer
Grade 8 girls who missed the opportunity to be vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at school can still receive the vaccine free of charge at one of four catch-up clinics offered by Toronto Public Health (TPH) this week. HPV is a common virus that can cause cancer of the cervix and genital warts.

Three doses of the vaccine are required for protection. Girls who are currently in Grade 9 and received at least one shot of HPV vaccine through TPH can also complete their series free of charge at these clinics. So far this year, close to 70 per cent of Grade 8 females have received the HPV vaccine.

“We are pleased to offer more young women this cancer-preventing vaccine,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto. “In Canada, 75 per cent of Canadian women will get at least one HPV infection in their lifetime.”

Dr. Yaffe urged parents to talk with their daughters about the vaccine, and about other steps 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.

Toronto Public Health’s February catch-up clinics are as follows. All clinics run from 4 to 8 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 2: Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall, Rooms 2 and 3, Lower level

Tuesday, Feb. 3: North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St., Members Lounge

Wednesday, Feb. 4: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., Main rotunda

Thursday, Feb. 5: East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave., , Committee Room A, 3rd floor

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:
Rishma Govani
Media Relations Coordinator
Toronto Public Health
Tel: 416-338-7974



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