30 March 2017

NSW has the highest rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) vacci nation among teenage girls in Australia, a new report reveals.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW had the highest HPV vaccination rates for 15-year-old females in 2014-15 at 81.5 per cent – compared with a national rate of 78.6 per cent.

“Thanks to the great medical breakthrough by Australia’s Professor Ian Frazer, this cruel virus which affected generations of women is not being inflicted upon our daughters and granddaughters,” Mr Hazzard said.

“These great results are due to a significant partnership between NSW Health and high school communities. I also encourage parents to ensure their teenage sons are vaccinated against HPV.”

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection which can cause genital warts and a range of cancers.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report: Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates in 2014-15 report also revealed NSW had the highest vaccination rate in a primary health network area (PHN), with 86.3 per cent in Murrumbidgee.

In 2007, the Australia Government introduced the three-dose high school-based National HPV Vaccination Program for females and extended it to males in 2013.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, director, Communicable Diseases at NSW Health said that while rates were improving, 20 per cent of 12-13 year-old boys were still not vaccinated against HPV.

“In NSW, extended catch-up vacci nations are offered to students who commence, but do not complete, the three-dose course of HPV vacci ne i n Year 7,” Dr Sheppeard.