As of September 2009, all 12-year-old girls in the Netherlands will be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is responsible for most cervical cancer cases, Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad reported Wednesday.
Dutch Health Minister Ab Klink had announced the government decision on Tuesday. He said he also wants to launch a "catch up" vaccination program for girls between the ages of 13 and 16. The HPV vaccine should be included in the national vaccination program so that it is offered free to everyone, the minister said.
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, according to the Algemeen Dagblad report. The vaccine must be administered before a girl becomes sexually active.
Every year, about 600 new cases of cervical cancer are reported in the Netherlands and between 200 and 250 women die of the disease, the Dutch Health Ministry said in a press release on its website.
(Xinhua News Agency July 10, 2008)