HPV Vaccination Programme
All girls in 1st year in second level schools are offered the HPV vaccine each year.
Most girls will be vaccinated at school by HSE immunisation teams. Some will be invited to attend a HSE clinic to get the vaccine.
HPV vaccine is given to protect girls from their future risk of cervical cancer.
We know the vaccine works best if given to young girls. We are offering the vaccine to this age group, so that girls are protected before adulthood and likely exposure to HPV.
The World Health Organization continues to recommends that school-aged vaccines are given in schools because there is scientific evidence that vaccine uptake is higher especially amongst teenagers.(May 2017).
Countries such as Australia and the UK have shown that the best vaccine uptakes are obtained through a school based programme. Data from the UK found that immunisation through a school based programme achieved an uptake rate of 80% compared to 60% from GPs.
From September each year the HSE offers the vaccination to all girls in 1st year of second level schools.
All girls less than 15 years of age at the first dose require two doses of the HPV vaccine given at least 6 months apart.
All girls aged 15 years and older at the first dose require three doses of the HPV vaccine - the first two doses given at least 6 months apart and the third dose given at least three months after the second dose.
There is evidence to show that two doses give as much protection as three doses to young girls - girls who are less than 15 year of age at the start of the first dose.
There is no evidence yet for older girls - those who are 15 and older at the first vaccine - so they need to get three doses of the vaccine.
Girls who are home-schooled are still eligible for the vaccine. You need to contact your local health office to make an appointment.
In September, schools send girls and their parents or guardians the HSE information packs. Please read the booklet, complete the enclosed consent form, put it into the envelope provided and return it to the school even if you do not wish to give consent or the girl has already completed a course of HPV vaccine.
When HPV vaccines are given in school the HSE will let you know the date of immunisations. If a student misses that immunisation in school, the HSE will arrange for the student to be vaccinated at a HSE clinic.
All girls in 1st year will be offered the HPV vaccine.
If you have changed your mind and would like your older daughter who is still attending school to receive the HPV vaccine you should contact your local health office and get your daughter the HPV vaccine to prevent cancer.
The contact details for the local health office are here - http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/whoweare/localcontacts.html
Yes - Girls will receive a record of their vaccinations in an immunisation passport. This is an important document. Please keep this document safe as you may require it in the future to record other vaccines or when you are travelling or starting college.
Yes – it is very important that girls who have received the HPV vaccine still attend for cervical screening.
The vaccine protects against 7 out of 10 cervical cancers, so it is still important for girls to have regular smear tests when they are adults. This is why, with consent, we will share her vaccination details with CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme.
The HPV vaccine will protect girls from developing cervical cancer when they are adults and is available free of charge from the HSE.
Copies of the HPV Information Materials are available to download for parents of girls in 1st year of second level schools or equivalent aged girls in special schools.