NAIT and NAITSA are organizing an HPV mobile vaccine clinic. For anyone 26 and under who hasn’t had their first shot yet, it will be available between February 6th to February 9th. Anyone eligible can book their vaccine and make their way to the north lobby near the NAITSA offices. There will be nurses and healthcare professionals on location those days to answer any questions.
The vaccine is a series of three shots that typically cost around $250 each. However, NAIT and other schools like Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and Bow Valley College are offering students all three doses for free. After receiving the first dose on campus, they’ll be instructed to go to a health clinic that will continue the free administration for them. There is no requirement to be a NAIT student to get the vaccine. For those over 27, there is still an option at the Shoppers Drug Mart at Kingsway Mall during the month of February to receive the vaccine for only $25.
HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a virus causing genital warts and cancers. According to the Government of Canada, HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease in Canada. HPV can be spread by vaginal, anal or oral sex; it can also be spread with no symptoms. In most cases, HPV will go away on its own. However, HPV can cause cancer years or even decades after infection. These cancers include the cervical, in the back of the throat, tonsils, penis, vaginal, and anus. There is no test readily available to detect HPV; however, health professionals can screen for HPV in cervical cancer tests for women between 21-30. The HPV-9 vaccine fights nine different types of HPV, all which can cause over 50 per cent of all cancers found in the genital area.
Any Albertan citizen can check for their HPV vaccination status with the MyHealth Records service.