Here in Canada, the number of sexually active teenagers who are regularly vaccinated against HPV (human papillomavirus) continues to grow. One of the first signs of that shift came last month when Statistics Canada found the number of sexual partners recorded on public health registries in 2016 exceeded the number of new vaccinations against HPV. The change can be traced to new tools that help prevent HPV-related cervical cancer and the support that vaccination brings. But where women and girls truly began to unite was in the efforts to make anti-HPV medication easier for women to access.
Where to get it
Start by visiting Planned Parenthood Toronto (PST) for help. The agency has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of new vaccines requested in 2018. Clinics and clinics are more often located in communities, such as Loganberry, where more young women are regularly receiving vaccinations, PST officials say.
“Some clinics in the city have dramatically increased their marketing around vaccines,” said Julianne Fisher, vice president of public health.
Because vaccines are most effective when they’re started at a young age, the agency offers a local information center at their primary clinic in north Toronto, and discusses vaccines and the HPV vaccine with those it serves.
A Provincial Action Plan
Recently, Ontario officials released a provincial plan to better protect young women against HPV. The project will see them reduce waiting times for prevention services, encourage new promotional programs and work toward eliminating all uncollected unvaccinated immunizations from homes and health clinics.
“When something like an HPV vaccine or another vaccine comes in that can prevent a whole variety of diseases, you really have to stop buying into this narrative of this was good enough, people’s resistance is going to overcome this, the resistance is going to overtake us,” Fisher said. “It’s time to recognize the importance of how in life really you need to protect the group you’re a part of.”