Girls to be offered vaccine against papilloma virus

The vaccination of young boys will apparently follow, as, when they get older, they are the ones who infect women.

February 3, 2010 22:35
1 minute read.
vaccine shot vial 88

vaccine shot 88. (photo credit: )

Young girls from the age of nine will, starting next year, be able to get the vaccine that prevents the most dangerous types of cervical cancer, which is caused by the papilloma virus transmitted during sexual intercourse.

This has been decided by the Health Ministry, even though for years its epidemiologists and executives said it was too expensive and not worth the expense, because this cancer is relatively rare here due to the very high rate of circumcision among both Jewish and Muslim men. The virus is spread much more easily by men whose foreskins are in place.

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The vaccination of young boys will apparently follow, as, when they get older, they are the ones who infect women.

The Israel Cancer Association, which on Thursday is marking International Cancer Day on Thursday, expressed  satisfaction with the ministry decision.

Each year, 12 million people around the globe – and 27,000 Israelis – are diagnosed with some type of cancer and 7.6 million of them (including 9,500 in Israel) die of it.

But 40 percent of all cancers can be prevented, said the ICA. Not smoking, exercising regularly, eating healthful food, limiting exposure to the sun and reducing alcohol consumption can cut cancer cases significantly, the ICA noted.

About one-fifth of cancers are triggered by viral and bacterial infections. These include hepatitis B (leading to liver cancer) and papilloma virus (cervical cancer). Israeli babies now routinely get vaccinated against hepatitis B as part of the regular vaccination schedule, and protection against papilloma virus will begin in 2011.

Prof. David Hill, president of the International Union Against Cancer and a leading behavioral scientist who directs the Cancer Council in the Australian state of Victoria, said that Thursday’s international day is being devoted to the theme of pathogens that cause malignant tumors. His organization represents 300 cancer societies in 100 countries around the world, including Israel’s.

The ICA invites the public to sign electronically a world declaration to fight cancer at The text can be found at the ICA’s Web site,

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