Jamaica’s Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton a short while ago informed that 309 girls have so far been given the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at four high schools between Monday and Tuesday.

According to the Jamaica Observer, the schools are Oberlin High and Papine High in Kingston and St Andrew and Titchfield High and Happy Grove High in Portland.

Only 21 girls did not receive consent, the minister disclosed at a post-Cabinet press briefing this morning.

“So you’re looking at well above the 80-percentile participation rate, which is in keeping with the averages that we expect,” he stated.

The vaccine, which protects girls and young women from HPV, a virus that can lead to cancer of the cervix, was rolled out on Monday amidst concerns in the public sphere about the safety of the vaccine.

The health ministry is targeting 22, 338 girls for the vaccine, which is not mandatory at this time.

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