The HSE is offering a catch up opportunity for the HPV vaccine in the coming weeks as immunisation teams return to secondary schools to provide the second dose to girls in first year.
Stressing the importance of ensuring that all those eligible for the vaccine received it, Dr Brenda Corcoran, Head of the HSE Immunisation Office said: “It is not too late for girls in first year of second level school who missed out on the first dose of the HPV vaccine in September 2016 to get vaccinated with this life saving medicine. All girls who missed out on their first dose of the HPV vaccine will be offered the vaccine again in March when vaccination teams visits schools around the country.”
Dr Corcoran emphasised that the HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer and saves lives. The vaccine is already known to reduce cervical cancer developing.
Australia was one of the first countries to introduce HPV vaccine in 2007 and the vaccine has already prevented one in every two cervical cancers and they have seen a decrease of up to 75% in rates of pre cancer of the cervix over the last ten years. Similar results have been reported from Sweden and Scotland.
Stressing that the vaccine was safe, Dr Corcoran said stories that the HPV vaccine is unsafe and causes harm are simply ‘untrue’.
“Over 220,000 girls in Ireland have safely received the HPV vaccine, along with 100 million people worldwide in countries like the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Not one of these people anywhere in the world has been medically proven to have had a long term side effect from getting the vaccine.
“Please take the time to visit www.hpv.ie for a wide range of information including videos and fact sheets about the vaccine, how it saves lives and its excellent safety record.”