Research published this month in the journal PLOS ONE shows that there are vast differences across the UK in school girls receiving the HPV Vaccine to protect them from Cervical Cancer and Genital Warts.

The National Vaccination programme is usually delivered by school nurses and some are excellent, getting very high rates of completion of the course of three vaccines, but others are facing problems.

Since 2008, all 12-13 year old girls should be offered the vaccine.  From this autumn, the vaccine has changed from Cervarix to Gardasil which offers greater protection against other non-cervical cancers and genital warts.   Around 80% of all girls have received the full course.

The study was led by Dr Tammy Boyce, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London who says that “There’s no question that the UK national HPV immunisation programme is one of the most successful in the world, but this research has highlighted thousands of young women who have either not been offered the vaccine, or where more could have been done to increase uptake… What’s more, there is a group of young women in certain social classes or who do not regularly attend school that could be vulnerable in terms of HPV risk.”

“More efforts could be made to vaccinate these vulnerable young women who have not yet received the vaccine. We mustn’t let overall vaccination rates mask the stark inequalities that do exist, and instead take action to identify and reach those that drop off the school system and are most in need of protection.”

Better2Know offers the gardasil vaccine to boys as well as girls – of  any age!  At many of its private clinics across the UK.  If you or your son or daughter is sexually active then you should consider the HPV vaccine.

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