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From September 2008, all 12 year-old girls in the UK will be inoculated against cervical cancer, in a national vaccination programme set to save the lives of 400 women a year, reports The Guardian.

The vaccination has caused controversy, particularly in America, amongst abstinence campaigners. They say that providing it to 12-year-olds gives tacit approval to under-age sex. But Prof Salisbury said the programme was designed to follow the best data on when infections occur, as the vaccine will not work if it is given after someone has contracted the virus. “We are making no judgments at all about what any person does or doesn’t do,” he said. The latest data from the Health Protection Agency showed that it was important to reach children with the vaccine before the age of 15, because that was the point at which the level of infection in girls begins to rise.

Thank Christ, common sense has prevailed in this case and future generations will be free of cervical cancer. They will also not look back and say that our politicians forfeited the lives of thousands of women in an attempt to prove a supposedly-moral point.

Photo by Thomas Ormston, shared under a Creative Commons license