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PUCHONG, The Health Ministry (MOH) will administer the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to 719,236 female students in the 2021 cohort up to this year who have yet to be vaccinated. Deputy Health Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni said this backlog was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a global shortage of HPV vaccines. 'MOH has intensified the implementation of HPV catch-up immunisation activities for students who have not received any HPV immunisation before leaving school. 'We have a supply of 802,000 doses, which means we have enough for the remaining students listed in our records. They will be vaccinated before the end of the 2024 school session in February 2025,' he said today. He was speaking at a press conference for the soft launch of the Catch-Up HPV Immunisation Programme for Form One to Form Four students at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pusat Bandar Puchong 1 here, with Health deputy director-general (Public Health) Datuk Dr Norhayati Rusli also present. Lukanisman said that out of the total number of unvaccinated students, 54,224 were Form Four students for the 2021 cohort, 220,158 Form Three students (2022), 219,815 Form Two students (2023) and 225,039 Form One students this year. He added that since the programme was introduced in 2010, a total of 2,561,062 female students have received the HPV vaccine, which helps prevent cervical cancer. Meanwhile, he said the MOH would conduct continuous monitoring following the recent wave of COVID-19 in Singapore, which saw a two-fold increase in cases in the week of May 5 to 11 compared to the previous week. The ministry had earlier reported that COVID-19 cases in Malaysia increased by 14.8 per cent to 1,230 cases in the 20th Epidemiological Week from May 12 to 18. However, no fatalities have been reported since April 25. Source: BERNAMA News Agency