International HPV Awareness Day

Saturday 4th March marks International HPV Awareness Day and HSE Community Healthcare East is using this opportunity to draw attention to the roll out of the Laura Brennan HPV Vaccination Catch-Up Programme that is currently running in Wicklow.

HPV vaccination clinics are currently taking place on a weekly basis at the Shoreline Vaccination Clinic in Greystones, Co. Wicklow every Tuesday from 2pm – 5pm as part of the national Laura Brennan HPV vaccine catch-up programme.   

Free HPV vaccines will be offered through this programme to all boys and girls aged under 25 years old who meet the following criteria and who have not yet received the HPV vaccine: 

·       Females who have completed second-level school and are 24 years of age or younger 

·       Females in 2nd – 6th year of secondary school 

·       Males in 2nd to 4th year of secondary school (or 5th year if they have skipped transition year this school year). 

Those who meet this eligibility criteria for a free HPV vaccine can register for an appointment at the Shoreline Vaccination Centre on www.hpv.ie

Dr Mary Condon, HPV Catch-Up Programme Lead for HSE Community Healthcare East comments: 

“The most common cancer caused by the HPV virus is cervical cancer – cancer of the neck of the womb. However, the HPV virus can cause other cancers and conditions that can affect boys, and since September 2019, boys have also been offered the HPV vaccine. The more young people vaccinated – both boys and girls – the better the spread of the infection caused by the HPV virus can be controlled and cancers prevented“. 

The programme is supported by Bernie and Larry Brennan, parents of the late Laura Brennan who campaigned for higher uptake of the HPV vaccine before her death from cervical cancer in 2019, aged 26.

The programme embodies Laura’s message of vaccine promotion and will encourage and facilitate further uptake of this life-saving intervention. The vaccine, which is proven to be safe and effective, protects against the types of HPV that cause 9 out of 10 cervical cancers.

Over 500,000 people have already received the HPV vaccine through the HSE school vaccination programme. First year students in second level schools will continue to be offered HPV vaccine as part of their routine vaccine schedule.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has recently advised that only one dose of HPV vaccine is required in those aged under 25. Most people will only need 1 dose of HPV vaccine. However, anyone with a weak immune system will require three doses.

Visit www.hpv.ie for information and to learn about the importance of HPV vaccine.

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