Bookmark this page

Grade 8 Immunization Clinics

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

Human papillomavirus:

  • Girls sitting downis an infection caused by the human papillomavirus. Research has shown that HPV can lead to cervical cancer, genital cancers, precancerous lesions, anal cancer, certain cancers of the head and neck, and genital warts.
  • is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity or sexual touching with someone who has the virus.
  • most adults in Canada will be infected with HPV at some point in their lifetime.
  • strains 16 and 18 cause about 70% of cervical cancer in Canada.
  • strains 6 and 11 cause about 90% of genital warts in Canada.

Symptoms of human papillomavirus infection:

  • can include warts in the genital areas, depending on the type of HPV infection or strain of the infection (usually caused by types 6 or 11).
  • can include development of abnormalities of the cervix, cervical cancer, genital cancers, precancerous lesions, anal cancer, or certain cancers of the head and neck (usually caused by types 16 or 18).
  • most people infected with the virus never have any symptoms, however they still carry the virus and can infect others.

HPV Vaccine

The best way to prevent human papillomavirus infection is by getting the HPV vaccine. Through the Durham Region Health Department’s school-based vaccine program, grade 8 female students are offered publicly funded (FREE) HPV vaccine which helps to protect against four strains of HPV (types 6, 11, 16 and 18). 

Educator's Online ModuleThe HPV vaccine:

  • For all healthy females in grade 8 who start the HPV vaccine series before the age of 14 years, the HPV vaccine is given in 2 separate doses at school-based vaccine clinics. The first dose is given in the fall, the second dose is given in the spring. 
  • For girls who have received their first dose of HPV vaccine on or after their 14th birthday or are immunocompromised, the HPV vaccine is given in 3 separate doses.
  • provides up to 100% protection against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18.

Eligible grade 8 girls should start the vaccine while in grade 8 and complete the series within one year for the vaccine to be the most effective. Eligible grade 8 females who miss a dose at the school clinic can receive the missed dose at the next school clinic, or call the Durham Health Connection Line for more information. 

Girls who started, but did not complete the series while in grade 8 can contact the Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6242 or 1-800-841-2729 to book an appointment at a catch-up clinic to complete the series.


For further information please contact DURHAM HEALTH CONNECTION LINE at (905) 666-6242 or 1-800-841-2729.