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Ewha hospital offers free cervical cancer vaccines

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Published : 2014-07-31 21:05
Updated : 2014-07-31 21:05

Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital is offering free cervical cancer vaccines for young women from less fortunate households starting in August.

One hundred teenagers from Seoul’s Yangcheon district will benefit from the service, organized jointly by the hospital, the Yangcheon-gu office and British multinational health care company GlaxoSmithKline.

GSK manufactures Cervarix, a vaccine that protects against two human papillomavirus types (HPV-16 and HPV-18) that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and 60 percent of vaginal cancers. 
Vice president of GSK Yeon Tae-joon (second from left) poses for a photo with Ewha Mokdong Hospital president Yoo Kwon (third from left), head of Yangcheon-gu office Kim Soo-young (second from right) and chief director at Yangcheon Welfare Foundation Seol Jong-soon (right), after signing an agreement on a joint project to offer free cervical cancer vaccines to 100 teenagers from less fortunate households. (Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital)

The HPV types are also known to cause 80 percent of anal cancers and 40 percent of vulvar cancers, on top of being associated with the development of genital warts.

The World Health Organization, as well as public health authorities in a number of countries including Canada, the U.S. and South Korea, recommend young women get vaccinated against HPV to prevent cervical cancer.

The vaccination also reduces the treatment for cervical dysplasia, which is the potential precursor for cervical cancer.

There are two HPV vaccines available in South Korea. One is GSK’s Cervarix, and the other is Merck & Co.’s Gardasil. The cost of the vaccines ranges from 290,000 won ($283) to 360,000 won, depending on the clinic.

The 100 teenagers were selected as recipients through a number of community centers and organizations that support teens in need in Yangcheon district, according to the hospital.

“We are very glad to be a part of this program and to help protect the health of teenagers in the region where the hospital is located,” said Yoo Kwon, president of Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital.

“We will continue making efforts to support our community in the district.”

The HPV vaccines are given as three injections over 12 months. The first injection will be given to the young women on Aug. 1, the hospital said.

For more information about the service, call (02) 2620-3389.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)

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