Immunisation plea from singer Sandi

SCOTTISH singer-songwriter Sandi Thom has spoken out about her teenage cancer scare.

She is urging girls in Carrick to take up the first-ever Human Papilloma Virus immunisation programme, starting on Monday, to help protect against cervical cancer.

Sandi is joined by actress Julie Graham and television presenters Kirsty Gallacher and Colleen Nolan, who have all thrown their backing to the 64million national immunisation programme that will help protect Scottish girls against the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide under 40.

They have joined up with other Scottish and UK-based celebrities from television, music, sport and radio, who are openly lending their support to the immunisation programme.

When Sandi was 19, a routine cervical screening test revealed that she had abnormal cells on her cervix. She said: "It was a very scary period of time for me and my family and the laser surgery procedure itself was really uncomfortable. The introduction of the HPV immunisation programme will mean that other girls will not have to go through this and they will now be more protected from the risk of cervical cancer."

And she said: "It's just three jabs that can save your life. Why not take the first step in the fight against cervical cancer?"

About 30,000 girls aged 12 to 13 in year S2 at school will be offered the vaccine annually in the form of three jabs over a six-month period.

In addition, a catch-up campaign for a further 120,000 girls aged 16-17 years will also take place over a three-year period.

Girls and parents are being encouraged to find out as much information about the HPV campaign prior to the immunisation programme starting in September.

There is a communications campaign currently running on television and radio and leaflets will be issued through schools when the new term starts..

Any parent, carer or girl seeking further information will be able to visit the dedicated public website www.fightcervicalcancer.org.uk An NHS helpline is also available on 0800 22 44 88