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Public health encourages youth in Grade 10 to catch up on missing HPV and Hep B vaccines

Feb 29, 2024
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reminding families that many youth born in 2008 are missing their human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B vaccines.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reminding families that many youth born in 2008 are missing their human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B vaccines. Both vaccines are free and are highly effective in protecting youth, now and into the future, from diseases, including cancers.

As of fall 2023, approximately 10,000 youth currently in Grade 10 in Simcoe Muskoka still require the HPV and hepatitis B vaccines and remain eligible to receive them until the end of August of their Grade 12 year. Students would normally receive these extremely important vaccines as part of the Grade 7 immunization program, however, many students born in 2008 were unable to receive their routine immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hepatitis B is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person’s body fluids (e.g., saliva, blood, vaginal fluids and semen) which can cause chronic liver infections, cirrhosis and liver cancers, which can result in death. Many people who are infected with hepatitis B are initially unaware of the infection, and don’t realize they are infected until the disease has progressed. Although many people will clear acute infections on their own, there is still a risk of becoming a chronic carrier for unvaccinated people. The best way to protect against infection is through immunization.

HPV can cause cancers in the throat (oral pharyngeal), cervix, penis and anus, as well as cause genital warts, and is easily spread. There are over 100 types of HPV. HPV cancers and warts are seen in both men and women and the virus does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI) and it is estimated that over 75 percent of Canadians will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime.

If your teen was born in 2008 and is currently missing their hepatitis B and/or HPV vaccines, we encourage you to book an appointment at one of our local catch-up clinics in Barrie, Collingwood, Cookstown, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Midland and Orillia, or contact your family health care provider. 

For more information about routine and required vaccines given to students and the diseases they prevent, please visit You can also speak with a public health professional by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 


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