To ask the Secretary of State for Health further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, what the timetable is for introducing the national vaccination programme for young girls against the human papilloma virus; when he plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme; and by what means.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine will be introduced for girls aged 12 to 13 years of age, starting from September 2008. A two-year catch-up campaign will commence in autumn 2009 for girls up to 18 years of age.
Vaccine uptake will be monitored during the programme, and plans to measure the incidence of HPV infection in the vaccinated age groups are currently being considered. In the first few years of the programme, studies will be carried out to test a sample of women for HPV deoxyribonucleic acid and antibodies, and to monitor the reduction in HPV infections. The impact of the programme will be seen when the vaccinated girls reach the age at which cervical screening starts as this is when a reduction in abnormal screening results will begin to be seen.