NSW Health offers the vaccines recommended for adolescents by the National Health and Medical Research Council in a school vaccination program.

Consent for each vaccine must be provided by parents/guardians for students to receive free vaccinations at school.

Your next steps

  • Carefully read this information sheet.
  • If you would like your child to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), please provide your consent online. Select login with Service NSW Account.
  • If you do not wish your child to be vaccinated against HPV, do not provide consent .

Last updated: 13 March 2024

​​​​Consent for school vaccination

Parents/guardians can provide consent online for their child’s routine school vaccinations on the online consent portal. Select login with Service NSW Account.

To provide online consent you will need:

  • your Service NSW log-in details
  • Medicare card details for you and your child.

Read a step-by-step guide on how to provide consent online. Translated guides are available in Arabic, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese.

If you or your child do not have a Medicare card, consent can still be provided by requesting a paper-based consent form – available on request from schools.

Parents can withdraw consent at any time before vaccination takes place:

  • where consent has been given online, please log-in to the secure NSW Health portal online consent portal and follow the prompts to withdraw consent, or
  • where consent has been given on the physical consent form, please write to or call the school to advise the student's name, school grade and those vaccines the withdrawn consent applies to.

What is HPV and how is it spread?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus affecting both men and women. HPV is spread through genital contact during sex with someone who has the virus. The virus passes through tiny breaks in the skin and is not spread through blood or other body fluids. Condoms offer limited protection, as they do not cover all of the genital skin.
Not all types of HPV will cause visible symptoms. Many people with HPV infection will not be aware of it. Some HPV types can cause warts on any part of the body. This includes the genital area (vulva, vagina, cervix, penis, scrotum, anus, and perineum). Warts are usually painless, but sometimes cause itching or discomfort. The types of HPV that cause warts are
called ‘low-risk’ because they are not linked to cancer. 
Other HPV types are called ‘high-risk’ because they can cause pre-cancerous cells to grow. These cells may turn into cancer if left untreated. High-risk HPV is responsible for 5% of all cancers worldwide, including:
  • almost all cases of cervical cancer
  • 90% of anal cancers
  • 78% of vaginal cancers
  • 60% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the back of the throat)
  • 25% of vulva cancers
  • 50% of penile cancers
  • almost all cases of genital warts.

Vaccinating males will prevent male cancers and genital warts and importantly, will also help to protect females from cervical cancer.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines work by triggering the immune system to fight certain infections. If a vaccinated person comes into contact with these infections, their immune system is able to respond more effectively, preventing the disease developing or greatly reducing its severity.

Which vaccine will be used?

An HPV vaccine that protects against 9 types of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58).

How many HPV doses does my child need?​​

International research shows that one dose of any HPV vaccine provides the same protection as a ​two- dose course. Based on this evidence, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommended that Australia transition to a one dose HPV vaccine schedule in 2023. Some adolescents who are significantly immunocompromised are recommended to have three doses of HPV vaccine.​​ A 3 dose schedule requires an interval of 2 months between dose 1 and dose 2, and 4 months between dose 2 and dose 3.

Significant immunocompromise is defined as those with:

  • primary or secondary immune-deficiencies (B lymphocyte antibody and T lymphocyte complete or partial deficiencies)
  • HIV infection
  • people with cancer
  • organ transplantation
  • autoimmune disease
  • significant immunosuppressive therapy (excluding asplenia or hyposplenia).

What about adolescents who have already had one dose?

Students who have already received one dose of HPV vaccine no longer need a second dose. They are considered up to date and fully vaccinated.

Who should be vaccinated?

All students in Year 7 and Intensive English Centre students​ from 12 years of age should receive a single dose schedule of HPV vaccine. For more information, contact your local public health on 1300 066 055.

Anyone who wants to protect themselves against HPV can talk to their vaccination provider about getting vaccinated. HPV vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for young people aged approximately 12 to 13. The vaccine is primarily provided through school immunisation programs.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends HPV vaccination for specific groups including:

  • younger people aged 9 to 25
  • people with significant immunocompromising conditions
  • men who have sex with men.
  • People under 26 can get the missed HPV vaccine free. This is if they did not receive the vaccine at school.

Who should not be vaccinated?

HPV vaccine should not be given to people who:

  • are or may be pregnant
  • have had anaphylaxis following a previous vaccine
  • have had anaphylaxis following any of the vaccine additives (listed over the page)
  • have a history of anaphylaxis to yeast.

How effective is the vaccine?

The vaccine protects against high-risk HPV types that cause over 90% of cervical cancers in women and also protects against additional HPV types that cause cancers in men. The latest research shows that the vaccine still offers close to 100% protection more than 10 years after it was given. Since the introduction of the National HPV vaccination program (in 2007 for females and 2013 for males) the incidence of:
  • high-grade cervical abnormalities in vaccine eligible age groups decreased by nearly 50%
  • genital warts in young people (under 21) reduced by 90%.
As cervical cancer usually develops over 10 or more years, the role of the vaccine in reducing cervical cancer will not be evident for some time.
The incidence of cervical cancer has significantly decreased since the National Cervical Screening 
Program began in 1991 and a national Human Papilloma Virus (HP​V) vaccine program was introduced in 2007.

​What if I prefer to wait until my child is older?

HPV vaccination is most effective when it is given to adolescents before they become sexually active. This vaccine can only be provided at school when consent has been provided by parents/guardians. If you choose to wait until your child is older you will need to make arrangements with your GP or pharmacist immuniser.

What additives does HPV vaccine contain?

The vaccine contains yeast, aluminium adjuvant, sodium chloride, L-histidine, polysorbate and sodium borate. Additives are included in very small amounts to either assist the vaccine to work or to act as a preservative.

How safe are vaccines?

Vaccines used in Australia are safe and must pass strict safety testing before being approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). In addition, the TGA monitors the safety of vaccines once they are in use.

What are the side effects of vaccination?

Side effects are commonly mild and usually involve pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. Serious side effects are extremely rare. NSW parents who were followed up in the days after HPV vaccination reported that 11% of students experienced mild side effects while only 0.5% required medical attention. More information about side effects is available in the Consumer Medicines ​​ Information (CMI) for the vaccine available from NSW School Vaccination Program. Parents concerned about side effects after vaccination should contact their GP who should also make a report to the local public health unit.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that may result in unconsciousness and death if not treated quickly. It occurs very rarely after any vaccination. The school immunisation nurses are fully trained in the treatment of anaphylaxis.

Will my daughter still need Pap smears?


Regular cervical screening (previously called Pap smears) is still important for vaccinated women, as the HPV vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer. All women from 25 to 74 years of age or who have ever been sexually active should have a Cervical Screening Test every 5 years, regardless of their HPV vaccination status.

What if my child has asthma and takes cortisone or prednisone by a “puffer”?

The vaccine can be safely administered to someone who has asthma regardless of which medications they are taking.

Should the vaccine be given to a female student who is or thinks she may be pregnant?

No. Any female student who is, or thinks she may be, pregnant should not be vaccinated. On the day of the clinic the vaccination nurse will ask female students if they are or could be pregnant. If a student answers yes to this question, she will not be vaccinated. The student will be urged to immediately discuss the issue with her parent/ guardian and to seek medical help. She will also be provided with contact details for a health referral service that will provide advice, support and guidance.

What can I do if my child missed out on the vaccine because of illness or absence on the day of the nurses’ visit?

If HPV vaccination has been missed at school, catch-up vaccination should occur as soon as possible. Some schools will host catch-up clinics, otherwise parents should contact their local GP or pharmacist to arrange vaccination.

How can I access a record of the vaccinations?

Information about your child’s vaccinations will be uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) so it can be linked to your child’s existing immunisation history.

Parents can request a copy of their child’s AIR Immunisation History Statement at any time up to their child being 14 years of age, and students aged 14 years and over can request their own immunisation history statement:

What will happen to my child’s information?

The information you provide on the Consent Form is subject to strict confidentiality and privacy protections contained in NSW and Commonwealth legislation (see the enclosed Privacy Statement). The information will be entered into a NSW Health immunisation register and then uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) so it can be linked to your child’s existing immunisation history and viewed on MyGov.

Female students receiving HPV vaccine – by signing the Consent Form, you are agreeing to disclose your child’s health information for linkage to the National Cervical Screening Program Register in the future.

Where can I find more information about school vaccination?

More information is available:

Current as at: Wednesday 13 March 2024
Contact page owner: Immunisation