Yellowknife Inn

NNSL photo/graphic


 Front Page
 News Desk
 News Briefs
 News Summaries
 Arctic arts
 Readers comment
 Find a job
 Market reports
 Handy Links
 Best of Bush
 Visitors guides
 Feature Issues
 Today's weather
 Leave a message



. NNSL Logo
Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

HPV vaccination campaign underway

Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Friday, November 20, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - In the shadow of the heavily publicized H1N1 mass vaccination last month, another important campaign is underway in much of Yellowknife to vaccinate young girls against a cervical cancer-causing virus known as HPV.

HPV vaccine drop-in clinic

The HPV immunization is comprised of a series of three needles, given over a period of ten months at Public Health, in the Jan Stirling building on Franklin Ave.

The first clinics will continue on the following dates:

The first shot:
Nov. 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 26 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The second shot:
February 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
February 4 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
February 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
February 11 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The third shot:
May 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
May 27 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
June 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
June 3 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Drop-in immunization clinics began at the Jan Stirling Building Nov. 18, and are also available for students in the Yk Education District No. 1 school district.

"The school-based program for Yk1 is continuing, so this is targeting (Yellowknife Catholic Schools students) where the vaccine is not being delivered in the schools," said Wanda White, a communicable disease specialist with the Department of Health and Social Services.

Last September, the Yellowknife Catholic board voted against offering the vaccine in their schools.

Dr. Kami Kandola, chief public health officer for the NWT, attended and presented information in support of giving out the vaccine in schools, but the board - except for Amy Hacala and Rose-Marie Jackson - still voted not to have it offered in their schools.

Chair Mary Vane and Brian Nagel stated at the meeting that they did not trust the vaccine had been properly tested before being released to the public. White said the health community in the NWT supports the vaccine.

"HPV is a vaccine that parents and public health nurses and specialists here in the territories have been wanting for a period of time," said White.

White said in order not to overload public health staff or put too much strain on their resources, the drop-in clinic is for students in Grades 4, 11, and 12 only.

"We're doing those grades who will exit school earliest, so we're doing Grade 11 and 12 this year, and next year we'll be doing Grades 10 and 11, the year after that Grade 9 and 10 and so on, until we meet in the middle so everyone's covered," said White, adding the Grade 4 students will be vaccinated every year.

White said the Department of Health and Social Services will be observing the rates of cervical cancer and HPV in the NWT over the next few years to keep an eye on how well the vaccine is working.

We welcome your opinions on this story. Click to e-mail a letter to the editor.