About the HPV school vaccination program and HPV vaccine
Dr Julia Brotherton: The national HPV vaccination program is providing HPV vaccine to boys and girls in the first year of high school all around the country free of charge. It’s also going to be rolled out over the next two years to 14 and 15 year old boys as a catch up program so an opportunity for them also to have the benefits of the vaccine.
Associate Professor Kristine Macartney: The vaccine’s been extensively tested in very large studies before being registered and then since its been registered in more than 100 countries around the world the vaccine has been followed very closely and those who have been vaccinated have been followed overall for side effects and it’s turned out to have an excellent safety profile.
Dr Julia Brotherton: We give the HPV vaccine to 12 to 13 year olds because we know that this is firstly a great time to be vaccinated because they’re young, their immune system is really healthy and it produces fantastic antibody levels, so great levels of protection when given the vaccination at this age.
Professor Ian Frazer AC: When the vaccine was first developed against HPV infection, it was subjected to major clinical trials, nearly 20,000 women took part in those clinical trials, and what was done was to watch whether they could catch the infection that causes cervical cancer after they’ve been vaccinated and there was a control group who weren’t vaccinated and they caught the virus fairly frequently whereas in the group that were vaccinated, no woman caught the virus during the five years of follow up.
Dr Julia Brotherton: So HPV vaccine will be available through schools from 2013 to both girls and boys, but in order for your child to receive it at school you need to make sure you sign the consent form.