Ministry of Health to introduce new vaccines

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be introducing three new vaccines into the national immunization program.

One of the new vaccines will help protect girls against cervical cancer, as the statistics in Vanuatu today are alarming.

The Director of the Department of Public Health, Len Tarivonda, said the cervical cancer vaccine will be introduced in the school vaccination.

“The aim is to protect girls before they become sexually active,” he said.

He said a trial on the cervical cancer vaccine conducted in schools in SHEFA Province was found to be effective.

The other two are rotavirus and diarrheal infections among children and pneumococcal vaccines to prevent serious bacterial diseases.

Director Tarivonda said the MOH will be introducing the new vaccines soon as part of a regional project supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The agreement for the project has already been signed early this year.

Vanuatu will be sourcing funds from ADB through both a loan and grant to integrate the new vaccines into the national immunization program.

It requires Vt500 million to implement the project for a period of over five years.

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