Nearly two out of every three first year girls in Ireland are receiving the HPV vaccine this year, as stage two begins this month.
HSE vaccination teams will be returning to second level schools to administer the second dose of the vaccine which protects against cervical cancer.
The national uptake of the vaccine is up 11% to around 62% this year, while parents whose daughters have not had the vaccine but are still in second level schools are also being encouraged to contact their local vaccination teams and join the ‘catch-up’ programme which will be available in schools over the coming weeks.
Twenty five year old Laura Brennan from Co Clare has bravely joined the information campaign to share her experience of cervical cancer – which for Laura is now a life limiting condition. Laura hopes her story will encourage parents to be informed and get their daughters vaccinated.
Laura said: “I made contact with the HSE after I had been diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. I’m only 25 but there is no treatment that will cure my cancer, only treatment that will now prolong my life. I didn’t get the HPV vaccine – it wasn’t available in schools when I was a teenager so my parents didn’t have the choice.
” The reality is that now there is a vaccine that protects girls from getting this horrible disease. No parent wants their daughter to get cervical cancer.
“If anything good comes from my situation, I hope that parents consider this – get the facts, get informed and make the decision to get their daughters vaccinated. The HPV vaccine saves lives. It could have saved mine.”
Health Minister Simon Harris welcomed the increase in uptake rates achieved since last year. However, he said while the increase in uptake rates are welcome more work needs to be done to ensure that all our young women are vaccinated and protected from cervical cancer.hpv,
GP and broadcaster Dr Ciara Kelly states: “I have been very encouraged by the groundswell of support for the vaccine that has been visible in recent months right across the public, medical, media and political spectrum. It is very clear that this is a vaccine that works and is safe.
“We know we can protect our daughters from seven out of ten cervical cancers – it’s a safe vaccine and is provided free of charge. I had no hesitation in giving this vaccine to my daughter and I have no hesitation in recommending it to my patients. If you have a daughter in first year, I recommend you consent to her getting the vaccine.
“If your daughter has missed the vaccine, the good news is it’s not too late to sign her up. Do your research. You can trust the information on www.hpv.ie.”Tags: