For Health Professionals
A school-based vaccination program to protect males and females against a range of cancers and disease caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is being provided through the National Immunisation Program.
From February 2013, the current school-based program for females aged 12-13 years will be extended to offer HPV vaccination free to males aged 12-13 years. Males aged 14-15 years will also be able to get the vaccine at school during 2013 and 2014 as part of a catch-up program. The program involves a three dose schedule, delivered at 0, 2 and 6 months at school.
While the HPV school vaccination program is a school-based program, you may see patients presenting in your clinic seeking further information about HPV vaccination or to receive missed doses.
HPV is highly contagious and can cause HPV-related cancers and disease, including genital warts. It is estimated that four out of five people will have a HPV infection at some point in their lives, however, infection is often asymptomatic.
Since the national HPV vaccination program began in 2007 to protect females against HPV infections, studies have shown a substantial decrease in HPV infections among the vaccinated group.
For more detailed information on the impacts of HPV and the vaccine, including reporting of adverse events following immunisation, please refer to the ‘Factsheet for health professionals‘. For information on how the program will be rolled out in each state/territory visit ‘The Program’ page.
How you can help:
- Communicate the facts about HPV and the vaccination program to your patients as required.
- Explain the benefits of vaccinating both males and females to parents or guardians or eligible adolescents.
- Notify the National HPV Vaccination Program Register of any vaccine doses administered to an eligible adolescent in your practice.
- Report any adverse events following immunisation to the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.