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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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High take up of HPV vaccine by school girls

The free-of-charge vaccination programme has been received well by first and second year girls.

File photo
File photo
Image: Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

THERE HAS BEEN a very high uptake rate in the HPV cervical cancer vaccination programme in the past year.

The HSE revealed yesterday that 82 per cent of those offered the vaccine have had it administered in 2011 – the first full year of the programme.

The programme, which has been up-and-running in Ireland since September 2010, aims to protect 60,000 school girls from developing cervical cancer during their adult years.

In a statement, the HSE said the programme aimed to achieve 80 per cent uptake for the three courses of  the vaccinations.

“The programme has been well received with an uptake rate of 82 per cent in its first year,” it continued.

“These are excellent figures for the first year of the programme and are equal to or greater than those achieved in the first year of programmes in other countries,” said Dr Kevin Kelleher, assistant national director at the HSE.

About 97 per cent of girls who received the first dose of the vaccine went on to receive the second and third doses. That was a particularly impressive achievement, added Kelleher when praising the vaccination staff.

The Gardasil vaccine is free of charge and offered to girls attending first and second year in secondary schools in 2010 and 2011.

There is also a catch-up programme for all sixth year girls that will continue for the next three years.

Cervical cancer causes about 80 deaths in Ireland each year. About 250 women per year are diagnosed with the condition.

About 70 per cent of cervical cancers are caused by strains of the HPV which Gardasil protects againsts.

Read more: Mary Robinson calls for greater access to cervical cancer vaccines>

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