Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Available Free To Those Under 25 Years.

HPV Vaccine.

The Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly, has confirmed that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) * vaccine is to be made available free to all women under the age of 25; in an effort to reduce cervical cancer rates.

Mr Donnelly has now communicated with the HSE, informing them to outline a vaccination programme for women and a catch-up programme for girls and boys in secondary schools, latter who may have missed out during the Covid-19 pandemic or initially refused to accept the vaccine.

The advice received from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) seeks to prioritise women under 25 and current second-level students for the vaccine. This advice from NIAC also recommends catch-up vaccination for unvaccinated people under 25 years of age.

The HPV vaccine, which is expensive to obtain privately, will also be offered to those young women who refused or were advised to not take it at the time of offering. Thus the HSE school vaccination teams have already been working with schools to ensure anyone who missed their initial shot, while in first year, are now offered second opportunity to participate.

Some 400 women and men are diagnosed with HPV-caused cancers every year, here in the Irish Republic. It is therefore essential that nobody misses out on the protection against cancer which this HPV vaccine guarantees, thus eliminating HPV cancers.

The Irish Cancer Society urges every eligible person to get the vaccine once the expected new programme is put in place.

* Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a family of very common viruses that are passed on during skin-to-skin contact, particularly sexual activity, including oral sex.
There are over 170 types of HPV and most do not cause any problems. However, certain types are considered high risk and increase the risk of cancer. Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV and two strains; HPV16 and HPV18, account for 70% of all cases.


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