Only 79 per cent of 15-year-old girls in Brisbane’s inner city have been fully vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, new figures show.
The latest AIHW report, released last week, shows the percentage of girls, and for the first time, boys, aged 15 who have been fully immunised against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The report provided vaccination rates for 80 small local areas in Australia, providing schools and health managers with detailed information about where improvement is needed.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said immunising girls and boys against HPV was crucial to help prevent a range of cancers, including cervical cancer.
“Across Queensland, the figures showed a significant improvement in the number of girls fully immunised against HPV, but some local communities are still lagging,” Ms McMillan said.
“In Brisbane, only 78 per cent of boys aged 15 received the full course of Gardasil. The program is newer for boys, however, and we expect this rate to increase over time.
“We need to ensure the number of eligible children receiving the full course of Gardasil continues to rise.
“Parents should check in with their child and ensure all three doses of the vaccine have been administered for best protection against HPV-related cancer and disease.
“HPV is a common virus that can be largely prevented through vaccination – the uptake of HPV vaccinations is critical in reducing the rising trend of HPV-related cancers.
“It’s absolutely vital that all eligible young people receive the full course of the vaccine – taking preventive action against HPV is vital and could save a young person’s life in years to come.
“The HPV vaccine has dramatically reduced human papillomavirus in vaccinated Australians, protecting our next generation from cervical cancer.”
The vaccine protects against the two high-risk HPV types (types 16 and 18), which cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers in women and 90 per cent of all HPV-related cancers in men.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes around 90 per cent of anal cancers, 35 per cent of penile cancers and 60 per cent of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer of the back of the throat, including tongue and tonsils) in Australia.
The Gardasil vaccination is most effective if administered before a young person becomes sexually active. Those eligible can also receive the vaccination through their GP.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171