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The HSE's campaign to protect girls from cervical cancer is working

Uptake levels for the HPC vaccine have exceeded targets and more than 42,000 girls have received the full course.
Sep 1st 2014, 3:00 PM 11,293 44

THE HSE HAS said that uptake in its HPV vaccination campaign has exceeded targets.

The campaign aims to protect more than 42,000 girls from developing cervical cancer and the routine programme for first year girls has been well received with an uptake rate of 84% for the three vaccine doses.

On top of this, a catch-up programme which was introduced in 2011/2012 for 6th year girls, had a strong 76% uptake rate – also above the target.

In total, more than 25,000 girls received a vaccine as part of the routine programme and more than 17,500 as part of the catch-up programme.

“Staff involved in the programme are to be commended for this achievement and particularly for the impressive retention of girls in the programme, given that 97% of first year girls and 93% of sixth years who received a first dose of HPV vaccine completed the 3 dose schedule,” commented Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE Assistant National Director.

“These figures are better, or as good as many other countries and are a great credit to the staff of the vaccination teams.”

Each year in Ireland, around 300 women get cervical cancer and 100 die from it. Worldwide, 70% of invasive servical cancers are attibuted to certain strains of HPV.

Most of these vaccinations were administered in schools by HSE teams with some girls being invited to clinics for their vaccine. The free programme involved the administration of three doses of HPV vaccine.

The Meningococcal C (Men C) booster is also being introduced this year for first year girls an dboys. This is routinely given to babies but the immunity reduces over time so a booster is recommended for teens to give additional protection.

Read: HSE cannot contact home-schooled girls to provide HPV vaccine>

Read: HPV vaccine given to 44,000 girls – exceeding its target>

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Michelle Hennessy

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