First anti-cancer vaccinations start in Lothian

OVER 14,000 schoolgirls in Lothian are set to receive protection against cervical cancer from today. (Tuesday 16th Sept).

School nurses across Lothian are ready to start delivering the jabs, with the first stage of the three injection process to be completed by the end of October.

The full process will be completed by Easter, giving the girls extensive protection against the potentially fatal cancer.

Dr Lorna Willocks, NHS Lothian’s immunisation co-ordinator, said:


“It is very exciting to be in a position where we can effectively beat a cancer by vaccination, and I am delighted that girls and their families are accepting the offer of immunisations against cervical cancer.
“Combined with cervical screening from the age of 20, this programme will offer women the best protection available against cervical cancer.”
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for women under 40.
Sharon Watt, 27, from Edinburgh, was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 27 after being urged by her partner to visit the doctor when she experienced abnormal pain and bleeding.
She was diagnosed through a smear and further tests and has been treated through surgery. It has now been almost seven weeks since Sharon’s operation, and she is still in some pain but has been given the all clear. She is taking life one day at a time and remains positive in the hope that the cancer won’t return.


She feels that the HPV vaccine is a fantastic breakthrough, and encourages all young girls to have it.
“If you are the right age to receive the vaccine, then you should have it! Regular smear tests are incredibly important, and don’t be afraid to go to the doctors and ask questions if you think there is something wrong.”