Government of Saskatchewan News Release September 8, 2017
Grade 6 boys in Saskatchewan can now receive the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for free as part of the province’s school immunization program. This is an expansion of the existing HPV vaccination program for Grade 6 girls.
“Our province has one of the most comprehensive vaccination programs in Canada, said Health Minister Jim Reiter. “We are pleased to provide $750,000 annually for this additional investment in the health and well-being of our children.”
Approximately 7,500 Grade 6 male students will be eligible to receive the free HPV vaccine, in addition to the province’s 7,500 Grade 6 female students.
HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted virus in Canada and is linked to a number of cancers, including mouth, throat and cervical cancers. HPV vaccines are most effective when given to young people, generally around the age of 12.
As children head back to school, health officials are encouraging parents to ensure all of their children’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Free childhood immunizations are available for all infants and school-age children in Saskatchewan.
“Immunization is the most effective way to protect your children against infectious diseases that can be very serious or even deadly,” said Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. “I urge parents to ensure children are fully vaccinated to maximize the benefits of immunization.”
Publicly-funded routine vaccinations are easily available in Saskatchewan at public health clinics (for pre-school children) and through school-based programs (for school age students).
Infants and preschool-age children may receive the following free routine vaccinations.
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus influenza type b
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal disease
School-age children may receive the following free routine vaccinations.
- Grade 6 students – bacterial meningitis, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), varicella (chickenpox)
- Grade 8 students – tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) booster
Saskatchewan residents six months and older may also receive a free influenza immunization. Public health flu clinics begin in late October.
The province invests more than $15 million each year to protect residents from vaccine preventable diseases.