HPV vaccine uptake high
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme is being hailed a success, with latest figures showing that 84% of girls aged 13-14 years have received the full course.
The Department of Health statistics show that a high proportion (over 75%) of girls from the second routine vaccination cohort, now age 12-13 years, have also completed the course.
And catch-up campaigns in those aged 14-18 mean that around 60% of all eligible girls aged 12-19 years have had the full course.
Public Health Minister Ann Milton said: "Being able to protect young women against this disease is a fantastic development and the uptake is very encouraging."
But she emphasised: "I would ask every girl between 12 and 18 who has not considered vaccination or who has not completed the full course to speak to their school or GP - all three doses are needed for full protection."
Director of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust Robert Music commented: "It is encouraging to see that many girls are getting vaccinated against HPV but we would like to see this increase further. We must remind girls that they are eligible for vaccination up to 18 years and I urge everyone who has yet to take part in this potentially life-saving programme to do so.
"Research has shown that if uptake is 80% year on year we could see a two-thirds reduction in cervical cancer incidence in women under 30 by 2025 and I cannot see any greater incentive to do all we can to ensure as many young women as possible are vaccinated."
GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011
By Caroline Price