Teenage boy getting a needle

Irish Cancer Society welcomes HPV catch-up programme announcement

The Irish Cancer Society has welcomed today’s announcement by the Government of a HPV vaccination catch-up programme.

The catch-up programme will see schoolchildren who missed out on HPV vaccination as well as women under the age of 25 being prioritised for vaccination, as recommended by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee. Access to the schools-based HPV vaccination programme had been severely disrupted due to the pandemic.

Speaking about the announcement, Irish Cancer Society CEO Averil Power said: “After many years of strongly advocating in support of the HPV vaccine and more recently for a catch-up programme, we welcome today’s significant announcement by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that this will now be happening, and we recognise his leadership on this important issue.

“Around 400 women and men are diagnosed with HPV-caused cancers every year in Ireland. It is essential that nobody misses out on the protection against cancer the HPV vaccine gives, so that we can achieve our shared goal of eliminating HPV cancers.

“The Irish Cancer Society urges every eligible person to get the vaccine once the catch-up programme is in place. We appeal to the HSE to develop an implementation plan as speedily as possible so that those who may have missed out can soon benefit from vaccinations.”