Mayor Lucilo Bayron has directed the Puerto Princesa Health Department to look into the possibility of obtaining a supply of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to protect the city’s youth from the viral infection that causes skin or mucous membrane growths, which can lead to cervical cancer if not treated and prevented.
During the regular flag-raising ceremony of the city government on Monday, Bayron shared that representatives from FSD Pharma, a company that manufactures HPV vaccines, visited him. From their visit, he learned that breast cancer and cervical cancer are the leading causes of health concern among women.
“Sa dalawang cancer na yan, yong breast cancer walang vaccination. Pero sa cervical mayroong vaccination—mataas yong percentage ng kanyang prevention. Kumuha sila ng 9-14 na mga kabataan [para bakunahan], kaya lang 3,000 lang ang dala nilang vaccines,” he said.
Last week, 9-14 year old pupils from Palawan National School received HPV shots from the drugmaker firm.
Bayron instructed Dr. Ricardo Panganiban, the chief of the City Health Office (CHO), to review the available funds and explore the potential of procuring HPV vaccines for wider inoculation.
“Baka maganda na mag-propose tayo na bibili tayo ng vaccine na yan para ma-immunize natin yong lahat ng mga bata, 9-14 years old. Kayo ang mag-evaluate,” the city mayor added.
Extensive research indicates that HPV is transmitted through sexual activity, with certain strains leading to genital warts and various cancers. The vaccine effectively guards against genital warts, most cervical cancers, as well as HPV-related mouth, throat, head, and neck cancers.