VANCOUVER, April 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Publicly funded human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is available at community pharmacies around British Columbia as part of the province's one-time HPV vaccine program.
The one-time HPV program offers free vaccine to women in BC who were born in 1991, 1992 and 1993 to protect them from cervical cancer. Until now, those born prior to 1994 had been ineligible for the publicly funded HPV vaccine.
The HPV vaccine is provided in a series of three doses over a six-month period and is also available from physicians, sexual health and youth clinics, post secondary institution student health services and public health units.
"We're encouraging young women to talk to their pharmacist about getting the HPV vaccine," said Parkash Ragsdale, deputy CEO and Director of Professional Services at the BC Pharmacy Association. "Community pharmacists are a very accessible and convenient option for patients seeking immunization.
"Currently, there are more than 1,600 community pharmacists in BC who are authorized to give injections. Our aim is to have at least one pharmacist authorized to give injections at every pharmacy in the province."
Women who want to receive the HPV vaccine but are not in the eligible age range have the option of consulting with their pharmacist or physician about purchasing the vaccine.
In addition to providing vaccines as part of the province's one-time HPV program, pharmacists in BC can provide patients with other publicly-funded vaccines, such as pneumococcal and flu shots.
Community pharmacists also continue to play a large role in tackling the whooping cough outbreak in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, having provided an estimated 10,000 whooping cough vaccines since the outbreak began last winter.
The British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 2,600 pharmacists and 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.
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