Press Release

Minister for Health launches HPV Vaccine Information Campaign

Minister Harris, acknowledging the ongoing work of the HSE to promote HPV immunisation and counteract misinformation, said “I am pleased to see the large increase in uptake of the HPV vaccine which reflects the work carried out across the medical community, including school vaccination teams, GPs and pharmacists, to provide accurate and trusted information. The uptake rate of 65% is a significant improvement on 51% the previous year and, a step in the right direction, to the average of 87% we had not too long ago”.

“I want to particularly commend Laura Brennan for her selfless advocacy for HPV immunisation that is acknowledged by the patient advocacy award she was presented with today. I look forward to seeing her featured by the WHO in their International Day of the Girl next month”.

“I would like to remind parents that it is not too late for your daughters to get the vaccine. Any parents who have reconsidered their decision and are seeking the vaccine for their daughters can use the HSE catch-up service”.

“Our next step will be extending the national immunisation schedule to include HPV vaccination of boys. The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is undertaking a health technology assessment (HTA) on this. A public consultation has just been completed and HIQA is expected to submit the final recommendation following its Board Meeting in November. Subject to a favourable recommendation from the HTA, Government will seek to extend this vaccine universally as a priority.”

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and HPV immunisation is an important part of our childhood immunisation programmes which protects women from developing cancer later in their lives. HPV vaccine safety has been monitored for more than ten years and is frequently reviewed by many international bodies including the European Medicines Agency, the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA.