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Despite some concern among residents about the pending introduction of the HPV vaccines to children from ages nine to 13, the Ministry of Health is proceeding with its plans.

In a statement to the media on Thursday, public health officials said the process will start on Monday and it said the aim is to reduce the risk of cancers caused by the HPV virus. 

The vaccine is free and optional but officials hope that parents will allow it as it is contended that the HPV virus causes almost all cervical cancers in women and also other cancers and genital warts in both males and females, thus the vaccine is important. The drug currently on island is called Gardasil 4.

Dr. Diane Harper, one of the lead researchers for the drug, is among international experts who have come out and questioned the vaccine’s risk-versus-benefit profile being aggressively promoted by the health industry.

Meanwhile, local health officials are saying that the HPV vaccine is also recommended for young women and men up to 26 years of age.