The HSE is launching the next phase of the HPV Vaccine Information Campaign which aims to support parents in making an informed decision to ensure their daughters get the vaccine and get protected from cervical cancer.
The launch coincides with the return of the HSE vaccination teams to second level schools to administer the second dose of the vaccine to first year girls in Kildare.
Parents whose daughters have not had the vaccine but are still in second level schools are also being encouraged to contact their local vaccination teams and join the ‘catch-up’ programme which will be available in schools over the coming weeks.
The launch also features twenty five year old Laura Brennan from Co Clare. Laura talks about her experience of cervical cancer - which for Laura is now a life limiting condition. Laura hopes her story will encourage parents to be informed and get their daughters vaccinated.
Laura says: “I made contact with the HSE after I had been diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. I’m only 25 but there is no treatment that will cure my cancer, only treatment that will now prolong my life. I didn’t get the HPV vaccine – it wasn’t available in schools when I was a teenager so my parents didn’t have the choice. The reality is that now there is a vaccine that protects girls from getting this horrible disease. No parent wants their daughter to get cervical cancer. If anything good comes from my situation, I hope that parents consider this – get the facts, get informed and make the decision to get their daughters vaccinated. The HPV vaccine saves lives. It could have saved mine.”
The HSE has confirmed that preliminary figures show that the majority of girls received the first dose of the vaccine in the 2017/18 programme. According to Dr Brenda Corcoran, Head of the HSE National Immunisation Office: “We have seen a national uptake rate of around 62% - eleven per cent higher than our preliminary figure from last year of 51%.
“That means that nearly two out of every three girls are now receiving the HPV vaccine which is really good news. This is really significant for the many groups and individuals who continue to ensure that the correct message is heard. We were particularly encouraged by the positive feedback we received from our vaccination teams in all areas of the country in relation to their interaction with the girls and their parents last September.”