FIVE girls in every Derbyshire school year could die of cervical cancer - unless more come forward for the jab to help beat it.
NHS Derbyshire County says two out of 10 girls in the county are yet to start their vaccine programme – which helps protect them against the second biggest cancer killer of women in their 30s in the UK.
GPs and health bosses are also urging parents to advise their child not to delay in accessing this life-saving vaccine.
Jane Careless, immunisation lead for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “Imagine if we had a vaccine against breast cancer, women would be queuing outside the surgery to get it.
“But this is exactly what this jab is – a jab to help protect against cancer, yet two in 10 girls still aren’t coming forward to have it.
“If you take this figure and project it into the future, it’ll mean a lot of unnecessary tragedy and heartache for young women who would otherwise be enjoying the prime of their life, starting up a successful career or looking forward to starting a family.”
Over the next few months GPs across Derbyshire have vowed to make sure parents know what the vaccine is and how it works.
“Having the jab doesn’t mean your child is sexually active, or will be anytime soon,” Ms Careless added.
“So we’d urge parents to focus their thoughts on the consequences of their child not having the jab as these can be fatal, and cervical cancer doesn’t discriminate.”
Every girl aged between 12 and 18 invited by their GP to have the jab will need to have three doses of the vaccine, the second of which is offered a month after the first and the third sixth months after the first.
“It’s imperative that young girls come forward and have all three parts of the jab otherwise they won’t be fully protected,” Ms Careless added.
The vaccine can prevent at least 70 per cent of cervical cancers from developing.