HSE urging people in Galway to get HPV vaccine

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The HSE is urging people in Galway who did not get the HPV vaccine in school to catch up on their shots through their catch-up programme.

To mark HPV Awareness Day this weekend, the HSE is reminding people that getting vaccinated is the key to eliminating the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cancer if left untreated.

International studies have found a substantial reduction in cervical cancer and incidence of severe cervical abnormality caused by HPV infection in young women after the introduction of the HPV immunisation programme.

The HPV vaccine given through the school immunisation programme protects against 9 out of 10 cervical cancers.

In countries where the HPV vaccine is used, the number of cases of genital warts has decreased dramatically in both young women and men.

The key message for this HPV Awareness Day is to get information about the importance of symptom awareness and early treatment, encouraging parents to protect their children from HPV through vaccination, and urging eligible groups to attend screening.

If you’re over 16 and did not get the vaccine when it was offered to you at school you may be eligible now.

Public Health Area F is encouraging anyone who is eligible for the HPV vaccine to avail of it.

Dr Regina Kiernan, Consultant in Public Health Medicine said, “The HPV vaccine has been available to girls since 2010 as part of the school immunisation programme and in 2019 the programme was extended to include boys in first year of second level schools.”

More than half a million people in Ireland have received the HPV vaccine to date, Dr Kiernan added.

“This year through the Laura Brennan HPV vaccine catch-up programme we are offering an additional opportunity to get vaccinated for young people who didn’t take it up when the vaccine was previously offered.”

The Laura Brennan HPV Vaccination Catch-Up Programme is open to those who were previously offered the HPV vaccine, but did not avail of it at that time. Those eligible are:

  • Females who have completed second-level school and are 24 years of age or younger
  • Females in 2nd to 6th year of secondary school
  • Males in 2nd to 4th year of secondary school (or 5th year if they have skipped transition year this school year).

The HPV vaccine is available free of charge through HSE vaccination clinics and schools.

The 1st year school immunisation programme will continue as normal throughout 2023 and is not part of the catch-up programme.

Only one dose of HPV vaccine is required in those aged under 25. Eligible people can register at www.hpv.ie to receive the HPV vaccine.