HPV Vaccination - Information for healthcare professionals

School Programme 2021/2022

The Schools Immunisation Programme (SIP) is developed in accordance with the guidance issued by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and contained in the Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland.

In Ireland, all the recommended vaccines given in the schools immunisation programme are free.

HPV Programme

The programme aims to vaccinate on an annual basis by offering boys and girls in first year in second level schools and age equivalent in special schools and home schooled students HPV vaccine.

Information materials for parents are available in the HPV school section

HPV Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

Since HPV vaccine was licensed in 2006 research has been conducted all over the world that demonstrates that the vaccine is safe and prevents cancer. The evidence has been steadily growing since 2006 and now an enormous bank of research exists which proves the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine. This heat map shows the countries which have conducted most research on HPV vaccine however, studies have been conducted worldwide which confirm that HPV vaccination is the right way to protect girls from cervical cancer.

Gardasil®/Gardasil9® is currently used in over 100 government funded HPV immunisation programmes worldwide including the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to protect girls from cervical cancer.

More than 20 countries including Italy, UK, Norway, Australia and New Zealand give HPV vaccine to boys and girls. 

Read more about the research into HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness


We are often asked if the HPV vaccine is linked to chronic fatigue like conditions. A number of studies have been conducted that show there is no link between the HPV vaccine and chronic fatigue-like conditions. You can read these studies here.

To read more about HPV please visit the following pages

The licensed documents for each vaccine (Summary of Product Characteristcs and the Patient Information Leaflet) are available from the HPRA website.

The HPV vaccine used in the school programme is called Gardasil 9. It is manufactured by MSD VACCINS.

More Information about HPV can be found at the following websites:

WHO Safety Update of HPV vaccines

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported in January 2020 that HPV vaccines are considered to be extremely safe. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Advisory Committee for Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has reviewed the evidence on the safety of Gardasil vaccine in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. WHO has never reported safety concerns with HPV vaccines.

EMA. HPV vaccines: EMA confirms evidence does not support that they cause CRPS or POTS EMA/788882/2015 12 January 2016

  • Post-licensure data for Gardasil distributed in the United States from 2006 to end of 2008 was published in JAMA2009. Slade BA, Leidel L, Vellozzi C, Woo EJ, Hua W, Sutherland A, Izurieta HS, Ball R, Miller N, Braun MM, Markowitz LE, Iskander J. Postlicensure safety surveillance for quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine. JAMA. 2009 Aug 19;302(7):750-7 (available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/302/7/750)
  • The Irish Medicines Board published a report on the first year of the HPV vaccination programme in Ireland. Overview of national monitoring experience with Gardasil. 19 July 2011. (available at http://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/Safety-Notices/imb_gardasil_webupdate_19jul2011.pdf)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescent Girls, 2007-2013, and Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Monitoring, 2006-2014 -- United States. MMWR 2014; 63 (29) 620-624 available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6329.pdf
  • Arnheim-Dahlström L, Pasternak B, Svanström H, Sparén P and Hviid A. Autoimmune, neurological, and venous thromboembolic adverse events after immunisation of adolescent girls with quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in Denmark and Sweden: cohort study. BMJ 2013;347:f5906 (available at http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5906)
  • An Overview of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Safety 2006 to 2015 Vichin M, Bonanni P, Klein N, Garland S, Block  S, Kjaer S Sings H, Perez G, Haupt R, Saah A, Lievano F, Velicer C, Drury R and Kuter B An Overview  of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Safety 2006 to 2015. PIDJ 2015; 34(9) 983 -1007 available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26107345/
  • Prof Margaret Stanleys presentation titled HPV VLP Vaccine Development and Impact. Prof Stanley spoke to an audience on the 31st August 2010.


In 2018 all 70 US National Cancer Institute NCI-designated Cancer Centers endorsed goal of eliminating HPV related cancers by HPV vaccination and screening.

High HPV vaccination rates combined with cervical cancer screening and treatment will result in the elimination of cervical cancer in the near future and elimination of other HPV-related cancers thereafter.

This page was updated on 31 August 2020