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SciShorts: Australia may Soon Become the First Country to Eliminate a Type of Cancer

A study shows that Australia might soon eliminate cervical cancer completely, making the country the first in the globe to do so. The successful elimination is due to the distribution of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for free in schools. This sexually transmitted virus is the cause of 99.9% of cervical cancer cases, bringing 270,000 women to death each year.

The HPV vaccine elsewhere in the world costs around US$450 for the entire procedure. The Australian government, however, has been administering two doses of the vaccine to all girls and boys in the age of 12-19 for free. Today, the percentage of Australian women having cervical cancer has dropped to less than 1%.

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Henrik5000 via Getty Images