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Help stop the spread of HPV

9 March 20140 comments

HPV virus picture007Newcomers to Australia are being urged to protect their children against a range of cancers by signing up to the National HPV Vaccination Program.

Parents of children aged 12-13 years can take advantage of the free Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination available through the school-based program.

Males aged 14-15 years are also eligible to receive the free vaccine until the end of the year as part of the national catch-up program.

HPV is a common virus that affects both men and women. It can cause the development of a range of cancers and disease in both males and females. Vaccinating young people against HPV can help protect them from developing a number of HPV related cancers later in life. These include not only cervical cancer in women, but other cancers that affect males and females.

The program consists of three injections delivered over a period of six months by qualified immunisation providers. It is important for young people to complete the full course of vaccinations in order to ensure the best protection against a range of HPV-related infections.

The HPV vaccine has been tested to make sure it’s safe. More than seven million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in Australia since the introduction of the national program in 2007. The vaccine has already been shown to have reduced the incidence of some HPV-related infections in females, and with the inclusion of males in the program we have a chance to give all young people the best possible protection.

Parents and guardians of all eligible young people will be getting more information and a consent form from school. This form must be completed and returned to school in order for eligible young people to receive the vaccinations. If you think your child is eligible, and you haven’t already received a consent form, make sure you receive one as soon as school starts again, as the first dose of the vaccinations will start from February. Young people cannot receive the course of vaccinations without consent from a parent or guardian.

For more information, visit the HPV website, which has information and resources available in 21 languages, or call the Immunisation Information Line on 1800 671 811.

The HPV website has a range of resources available to order or download including posters and pamphlets as well as a short animation that demonstrates how the HPV vaccine works in the human body.