THE introduction of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to young girls from 2013 is expected to curb local cervical cancer mortality rate of 66 women per year.
Fiji currently has the second highest global prevalence of the cervical cancer-causing HPV.
According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Health, two women in Fiji are diagnosed with cervical cancer every week.
National adviser family health Dr Frances Bingwor said the immunisation would be given to girls in primary school from the first term of next year.
"The immunisation is given as an injection and three doses are required over a six-month period to provide protection from the virus," Dr Bingwor said. "For the immunisation to be effective it is important that the three doses be completed and we urge all parents to ensure their girls are protected."
In order to be effective, the vaccine must be given before exposure to the virus and exposure usually occurs in the late teens and early twenties.
The HPV vaccine was first introduced six years ago in the US and has been declared safe by health authorities in the UK, NZ and EU where it is in regular use.
However Dr Bingwor said the HPV vaccine should not stop women from visiting their local health facilities for regular pap smears as the process continued to be an important means of preventing serious cancers from developing.