The Regina Catholic School division has apologized after a letter from the province’s bishops questioning the HPV vaccine was sent out.
“While the vaccine is said to prevent 70 per cent of the HPV infections that could lead to cervical cancer, it must not lead to a false sense of security which can contribute to risk behaviour,” the letter stated.
The letter goes on to advise parents that, “this is a serious health decision with strong moral implications.”
But the letter isn’t reflective of the current position of Regina Catholic Schools.
“The letter sent out is outdated and we are working right now on a new letter and looking at whether it’s even necessary as we know so much more than we did a decade ago,” spokesperson Twylla West said in an email. “We apologize that it was sent out as routine and that is never our intention.”
In the email, West stressed that Regina Catholic Schools is not against the vaccine, acknowledging the advancements in research that have been about the benefits of the vaccine.
That’s a relief to the Canadian Cancer Society, a group that advocates for the vaccine.
“HPV vaccine is a safe, effective vaccine that can prevent cancer in your child down the road,” manager Donna Pasiechnik said. “Our concern was the incorrect facts in the letter and whether it would lead parents to question whether they should do this for their child’s health.”
The vaccine is part of the province’s immunization program offered to boys and girls in Grade 6.