70% take up HPV vaccination in first year4th September 2009
Official figures show that 70% of 12-to-13-year-old girls in England have been fully vaccinated against cervical cancer in the first year of the programme.
And already, within the last school year, 87% had at least one of the three doses needed to protect against HPV.
A staggered catch-up campaign for girls aged 14 to 18, already underway in Scotland, is now due to get underway in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Robert Music, director of the cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust, said: "Given the HPV vaccine was only introduced last September, it is a positive start to this important programme for 70% of eligible girls to have received all three doses of the vaccine.
"The programme's biggest challenge is to ensure that all girls who are eligible for the catch-up vaccine are immunised."
Meanwhile, figures from the NHS Information Centre reveal that take-up of the MMR vaccine for two years olds is still short of the 90% target.
Figures for 2008/09 show that only 85% of children are vaccinated.
However, 78% of children have received a second dose by the age of five, which is the highest level since 1998.
The Department of Health welcomed the figures but also warned against complacency, particularly with the MMR vaccine levels.
A spokesman said: "Uptake of the vaccine against cervical cancer has reached high levels since its introduction a year ago and it is encouraging to see an increase in the number of children who have received two doses of MMR by their 5th birthday."
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Title: 70% take up HPV vaccination in first year
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12554
Date Added: 4th Sep 2009