Uptake of the HPV vaccine in Clare has hit ninety percent with the advocacy work of the late Laura Brennan hailed for the increase.
HSE school vaccination teams are now returning to secondary schools across the country to offer the second dose of HPV vaccine and a dose of MenACWY vaccine to first year students. According to the HSE, approximately 400 people in Ireland will be diagnosed with a cancer caused by the HPV virus. The HPV vaccine now protects against the types of HPV that cause 9 out of 10 cervical cancers. The vaccine also protects against most cases of vulval, anal and vaginal cancers and most cases of genital warts.
Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of the HSE National Immunisation Office said they were “very encouraged” by the amount of first year students receiving the HPV vaccine since September. “This is the first year boys have also been offered the HPV vaccine and school teams are reporting very busy clinics across the country. Based on activity at our school clinics, our immunisation teams are confident that this year we’ll regain the WHO target of 80% uptake for the HPV vaccine nationally”.
A spokesperson for the HSE confirmed to The Clare Echo that the uptake of the HPV vaccine in Co Clare has reached ninety percent, largely due to the impact of Ennis’ Laura Brennan. Dr Jessop described this as “a wonderful testament to her selfless advocacy, and the continuing work of the Brennan family to promote the importance of the HPV vaccine in Ireland”.
Speaking on Tuesday, Laura’s brother Kevin said the family were “thrilled” that the uptake was set to reach its target. “Thank you to everyone who has helped us support the HPV vaccine over the last 12 months. We’re especially pleased that the parents of County Clare have heard Laura’s message loud and clear and that more than 90% of first years will now be protected from the virus that caused her cancer.”
The HPV vaccine is endorsed by the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), the Irish Pharmacy Union and the Irish Cancer Society’s HPV Alliance and by major medical and scientific bodies worldwide including the World Health Organization, the Centres for Disease Control in the USA, the EU funded European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.