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British Columbia’s school-based human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization program is dramatically reducing rates of cervical pre-cancer in B.C. women, according to a new study

An organized teaching program in B.C.’s public schools is helping to reduce rates of cervical cancer in B.C. women, according to a new study.

Perovskite vaccine rates increased by 28 per cent between 1996 and 2000 after the implementation of a package of protocols for teachers who administer it in a teacher’s training program.

The program in the Yukon, Cochrane District, Rothesay, and Macpherson Lake school systems created training for teachers who administer the vaccine.

The study, sponsored by the Public Health Agency of Canada, is part of the decade-long school-based HPV Vaccination Program.

A close study of 144,000 patients in B.C. between 1985 and 2005 provided information on the vaccine program’s effect on treatment rates and follow-up.

UBC researcher Marlena Lugg added that other studies are needed to determine how effective the program is.

“One of the biggest questions is whether our data is predictive,” she said. “Do rates are higher after the vaccine program? That is the question we have to answer.”

Sexually transmitted infections are the leading cause of cervical cancer in B.C. in women under 35.

The study finds that since 1996 the HPV vaccine has reduced the rate of colposcopy, a procedure where a doctor removes the cervix and prioritizes preventing infection with invasive removal of the uterus.

It is one of four vaccines recommended to prevent these diseases.

The research was published in the January 2013 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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