PRELIMINARY figures released today by the Health Service Executive show that the HPV vaccine uptake has increased by up to five per cent in Kerry and Cork.
But medics have insisted that they need to build on that so more girls are protected with the lifesaving vaccine.
HSE Principal Medical Officer, Dr Angela O’Leary, is reporting an increase in uptake rates following the second offer of the vaccine in the region.
She said the school vaccination teams in Kerry and Cork are on the frontline addressing much of the misinformation that is facing parents and teenage girls. Significantly, however,
Meanwhile, Dr Brenda Corcoran, Head of the HSE’s National Immunisation Office, confirmed that initial data from March and April shows that the drop in uptake has stabilised.
“Although this information is provisional, and we remain very concerned at the current rates, it does tell us that more parents would seem to be hearing the message that this vaccine is safe and effective,” she said.
“It offers their daughters a life without cervical cancer. We understand the concerns of parents and encourage them to talk directly to us and our fellow healthcare professionals across the country,” Dr Corcoran stated.
Globally, it is estimated that based on 80 per cent of the world’s 12-year-old female population receiving the vaccine, 420,000 deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented.
Researchers have compared the cervical screening and vaccination records of women born in 1995, who had been vaccinated as teenagers, with those from unvaccinated women born between 1989 and 1990. They found just 0.5% of women from the 1995 group tested positive for the virus, compared with 21.4% of women born before 1990.
Over 200,000 girls in Ireland have safely received the HPV vaccine, along with 100 million people worldwide.
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