The safe and effective cancer prevention vaccine could soon be available free of charge to all women under the age of 25 in Ireland, according to recent statements by the Health Secretary.
Mr Donnelly told the Irish Examiner on 20 May 2022 that he had written to the Health Service Executive (HSE) asking them to outline a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program for women.
“This is an incredibly effective vaccine and I want a catch-up program to be put in place as soon as possible,” the minister said.
“We have a number of young women who have been offered the HPV vaccine (during COVID-19) and have not taken it at the time.”
HSE school immunization teams had already worked with schools to ensure anyone who missed their first year vaccination was given a second chance.
In addition, certain women may only need one HPV vaccine dose.
The National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) is finalizing its recommendation to reduce the number of HPV vaccinations to just one dose.
NIAC’s action follows similar decisions by the UK Health Security Agency on 24 February 2022.
In addition, the HPV vaccination program will be switched from Gardasil® to Gardasil®9 in 2022.
Merck’s Gardasil9 vaccine helps protect people aged 9 to 45 against cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, anal cancer, certain types of head and neck cancer and genital warts in both men and women.
This is an important life-saving program as the Irish Examiner reported in January 2022 that 11% of women screened for HPV by CervicalCheck tested positive for the cancer-causing virus.
The Gardasil9 vaccine is widely available in clinics and pharmacies in the United States.
More HPV vaccination news will be posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/HPV.
Note: This information has been manually edited for clarity and curated for mobile readership.