06 Jul 2022

HSE launches 'catch-up' programme for HPV vaccine

HSE launches 'catch-up' programme for HPV vaccine

The HSE is set to step up its HPV vaccine roll-out post Covid-19 pandemic, with a catch-up programme for girls who missed out in school. 

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has welcomed updated advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) in relation to the HPV Vaccination Programme.

In October 2021, the Department of Health requested the NIAC to examine the clinical effectiveness and population-wide benefit for 

• girls and boys in secondary school who were eligible to receive HPV vaccine in 1st year but who did not receive it; and

• women up to the age of 25 years who have left secondary school and who did not receive the vaccine when eligible.

Minister Donnelly said: “Based on the NIAC’s updated advice, I have asked the HSE to prepare to operationalise a programme that would provide for all girls and boys in secondary schools who were previously eligible to receive the HPV vaccine and who have not yet, for whatever reason, received it, to now be offered the vaccine.

 “I have also asked the HSE to provide options on how best to introduce a catch-up programme for young women who have now left secondary school and who did not receive the vaccine when they were eligible.”

 “This is an incredibly effective vaccine and young people should be able to access it. Our goal it to eradicate cervical cancer over time. Ireland is the only country in the western world to reverse a crisis in confidence in HPV vaccination. We owe patient advocate Laura Brennan, an incredible campaigner, and her family a huge amount,” Minister Donnelly said. 

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