THE Department of Health (DOH) has expanded the coverage of the anti-cervical cancer vaccination program nationwide with additional 27 provinces to the initial 20 priority provinces.

The province of Antique was added to the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental as target of the second dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for females aged 9 to 13 years old.   

In women, persistent infection with specific types of HPV may lead to precancerous lesions which, if untreated, may progress to cervical cancer.

A total of 672,427 beneficiaries will benefit out of the identified 47 areas.

Other provinces targeted for anti-cervical cancer vaccination are Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya and Quirino, Aurora, Pampanga, Zambales, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental, Cotabato, Sarangani, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Sulu. (LCP)