The Health Service Executive has published a report on the uptake rates for the 2011/2012 nationwide HPV vaccination campaign, which will help protect more than 44,000 girls from developing cervical cancer.
Uptake rates have been strong and exceeded the targets set by the HSE, according to Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE, assistant national director, Health Protection.
“The routine programme for first year girls during 2011/2012 has been well received with an uptake rate of 86 per cent for the three vaccine doses, up from 82 per cent for 2010/2011 and well above the target of 80 per cent uptake rate set by the HSE for completed course of vaccinations.
“In addition a catch up programme was introduced in 2011/2012 for all sixth year girls and the rate for completed vaccination courses for sixth year students was also very strong with a 72 per cent uptake, 12 per cent above the target of 60 per cent.”
Most of the vaccinations were administered in schools by HSE immunisation teams, with some girls being invited to HSE clinics for their vaccine. Prior to the vaccination, the HSE sent information packs and consent forms via the school for completion by parents, guardians, or the girls themselves (for those in sixth year ).
The 2013/2014 programme will routinely provide vaccination for all first year girls. This is the final year of the catch up programme for sixth year students who have not already had the HPV vaccine - some of these girls had HPV vaccine as part of the school programme in 2010/2011.
For more information on the HPV vaccine programme and on cervical cancer visit www.hpv.ie – which is a dedicated HSE website with a range of links to national and international information on HPV vaccine and cervical cancer.