YOUNG people on the Mid North Coast will have free access to the new Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from the start of 2018 to protect against more strains of the HPV infection.
Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said the new Gardasil® 9 vaccine will offer protection against nine strains of HPV (up from four), expanding protection against the virus and improving the health of young people on the Mid North Coast now and into the future.
“Gardasil® 9 is the most comprehensive and effective HPV vaccine ever and it only requires two doses (down from three), making it easier for young people to receive the full schedule and be fully protected,” said Mr Hartsuyker.
“As part of the National Immunisation Program, Gardasil® 9 will be provided through school based programs to all 12 to 13 year old boys and girls in years 7 or 8.
“Having the HPV vaccine on time through a school based program maximises protection for girls and boys.
“Schools have been used for many years to deliver successful immunisation programs, including pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chicken pox), and Gardasil®,” said Mr Hartsuyker.
The new vaccine will help protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV.
For boys and men ages 9 to 26 the vaccine will protect against anal cancer and genital warts caused by those same HPV types.
Australia was the first country to introduce a free national HPV program, starting with girls in 2007, followed by boys in 2013.
Health Minister, Greg Hunt said the Government’s HPV vaccination program has dramatically reduced the incidence of the HPV infection and disease in Australia.
“HPV coverage rates are now higher than they have ever been in Australia, with the proportion of 15 year olds receiving all recommended doses increasing to 78.6 per cent for girls (up from
78 per cent in 2015) and 72.9 per cent for boys (up from 67.2 per cent in 2015),” Minister Hunt said.
“High grade cervical abnormalities have also declined, with detection rates declining between 2006 and 2014 by 62 per cent in women aged 20 years or younger and 35 per cent in women aged 20–24 years.”
Further information about the new vaccine will be provided to parents and students on the Mid North Coast over coming months, in preparation for the 2018 school year.