Human Papillomavirus Viruses (HPV)
Vaccination is an effective and safe method of protection against VPH infections and their complications.
However, the vaccine against HPV does not offer any protection against other sexually transmissible infections.
In Quebec, the free vaccination program against HPV is aimed at girls between 9 and 17 years of age as well as women between 18 and 26 who have a weakened immune system or who are infected by HIV. Vaccination is mainly carried out at school, i.e. in Elementary 4 and in Secondary III. Using schools makes it possible to vaccinate a large number of girls more easily.
Vaccination against HPV in Quebec begins in Elementary 4 for the following reasons:
At the start of the programme, the vaccine was only used to prevent cancer of the uterine cervix. Girls were more directly affected in prevention of this cancer, and were the only ones to receive this vaccine. Since then, many scientific studies have shown that vaccinating a large proportion of girls led to a reduction in infections among boys. The vaccine against HPV that girls received protects boys against anal and genital warts. Vaccinating boys against HPV is recommended by Canadian experts but is not free of charge.