The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released new data today showing that the proportion of 15-year-old girls fully vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus has increased from 78.6% in 2014-15 to percent 80.1% today.
Nationally, 74.1% of boys aged 15 are fully immunised against HPV, an increase from 67.3% in 2014–15.
Professor Karen Canfell, Chair, Cancer Screening and Immunisation Committee, Cancer Council Australia has welcomed the news.
“It’s great to see that uptake of the HPV vaccine among Australian teenagers has increased. As well as helping protect girls against cervical cancer in the future, increasing rates of vaccination across both teenage males and females will help reduce our population’s overall risk of a range of cancers linked to the HPV virus.
“However, it is concerning that 1 in 5 teens still aren’t directly protected through vaccination and there are some communities where uptake remains lower. We need more research to understand these trends.
“It’s also important for us to remind women over 25 that even if they are vaccinated they still need to participate in cervical screening.”
“Australia is leading the world when it comes to reducing the impact of cervical cancer – the new screening program alone will reduce cervical cancer rates and mortality by at least 20 percent, and the new HPV vaccine that’s available to Australian teens as of this year protects against 90% of all cervical cancer. To further work towards a future without cervical cancer, we encourage parents to ensure their teenagers get vaccinated, and we recommend all eligible women participate in cervical screening.”
Professor Canfell and other Cancer Council spokespeople are available for interview, and can also discuss:
- Recent changes to the cervical screening program introduced in Australia
- How the new national cervical screening program and HPV vaccination will work together to help reduce cancer rates
- Common questions about HPV vaccination
- The new HPV vaccine – which only requires two doses in under 15-year-olds and protects against nine HPV types (approximately 90% of cervical cancers).
(Source: Cancer Council Australia)