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Complacency could reduce HPV protection - is your teen at risk?

16 October 2019

Complacency could reduce HPV protection - is your teen at risk?

Health authorities are encouraging parents to check whether their teens have received the full human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine course.

Thirteen years from its nation-wide roll out, almost 75 percent of year 7 students have received their first dose of HPV vaccine through the Queensland School Immunisation Program. Some of the other eligible adolescents may also have received their first dose through their GP.

Offered to year 7 boys and girls, the HPV vaccine is most effective if the full course is completed, which now comprises two doses administered at least six months apart. Before 2018, three doses of HPV vaccine were required.

Medical Director of the Immunisation Program, Dr Alun Richards said in 2018, 8 percent of year 7 students receiving their vaccinations through the School Immunisation Program, may have missed out on the full protection provided because they have not returned for their second dose.

“Each year, there’s a drop between the number of Year 7 students receiving the first dose and the follow-up dose of the vaccine,” he said.

“And that drop means that those adolescents have not received the full protection from HPV at a young age when the vaccine is most effective.

“The HPV vaccine is free and very convenient for adolescents to receive through the School Immunisation Program, with clinics running at all state and non-state schools. The vaccine is also available free of charge from your GP*

“It really is easy, if anyone’s missed out on the second dose, or haven’t started the two-dose course, there’s a free catch-up program for people up to 19 years of age available through GPs and immunisation clinics.

If you’re unsure if your teen is protected, their immunisation history can be accessed on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

For more information, visit the Queensland Government website.

*A consultation fee may apply if vaccinating through GPs and immunisation clinics or if you’re aged older than 15 years as a third dose may still be required.

ENDS

Last updated: 16 October 2019