The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

New vaccine to target cervical cancers to be made available from this year

Albert Galea Thursday, 2 January 2020, 12:24 Last update: about 3 months ago

A new vaccine targeting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is the overwhelming cause of cervical cancer, will be made available by the government from this year.

The vaccine entered the market early last year and will be made available in Malta from ths year, with families with girls of 12 years of age and over receiving and invite by post to get vaccinated for HPV, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Thursday.


Speaking at the Floriana Health Centre in the first press conference of the new year, Fearne said that cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be linked to a single source, which is HPV 95% of the time.

“The new vaccine will attack nine strains of the virus”, Fearne said. 

He noted that there are between 20 and 30 new cases of HPV in women every year, before also stating that the vaccine will also be made available to males by the end of 2021 as per the government’s National Cancer Plan.

Fearne also announced that the government will be spending an added €9 million in 2020 o new vaccines and treatments introduced in the government formulary, with one of these being Xarelto, which is used by 20,000 people for heart disease in Malta.

PrEP, the preventive HIV pill, will also be introduced on the government formulary in the near future, Fearne said while also adding that the government will be modernising current HIV programmes and introducing new treatments for the disease.

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