Young people encouraged to get HPV jab as vaccine programme resumes

Amelie with nurse

The vaccines are resuming for students in year 12 and 13. - Credit: NHS

Vaccinations to protect secondary school pupils from HPV are resuming in North Somerset and young people are being encouraged to sign up for the jab. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools were closed and eligible secondary students were unable to receive their routine vaccinations of Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  

HPV is the name of a very common group of viruses which can cause cancer. The vaccine protects people against the types of HPV that cause most cases of  cervical cancer.

So far in North Somerset, 72.7 per cent of year eight girls have received the first dose of the vaccination, along with 67.7 per cent of boys in the same year. This is above the national average of 59 per cent for girls, and 54 per cent for boys. 

Dr Matthew Dominey, screening and immunisation lead, said: “The infections we’re talking about here can cause very serious illnesses in children, so we’re very pleased that the school aged immunisations are being offered again.  

“We urge all parents and young people to accept their offer when invited. please return your consent forms when they come from your schools. It’s quick and easy and will give lasting protection from very serious illnesses.” 
 
Once children have received their first dose, the second dose will be administered between six to 24 months. 

Dr Julie Yates, lead consultant for screening and immunisation, said: “HPV is the name of a very common group of viruses and can cause cancer. They are very common and have no symptoms.  

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“We know that the HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and we would urge all parents and young people to accept their offer of vaccinations when they are invited.” 

Estimates suggest that the HPV vaccine programme will lead to the prevention of more than 64,000 cervical cancers and almost 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058. 

The programme is now starting up again, and parents of girls and boys aged 12 and 13 should look out for information from their children’s school about the vaccine and timings for the first and second dose vaccination. 

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