There was an increase in the uptake of girls getting the HPV vaccine this year, according to the latest figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) on March 22nd .
The figures show that there has been an 11 per cent increase. Uptake so far currently stands at 62 per cent in comparison to 51 per cent last year.
The HPV vaccine prevents the most common strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer. There was a pattern of decline in previous years. Discussion on anti-vaccination social media websites claim the vaccine has damaging effects, including chronic fatigue.
Minister for Health Simon Harris spoke on Thursday at the launch of the Phase Two of the HPV Vaccine Information Campaign.
“Vaccination teams are returning to schools in the coming weeks to administer the second dose of the HPV vaccine. I encourage all parents of any girl who missed the first dose to take advantage of this opportunity for their daughter to receive this important and lifesaving vaccine,” Harris said.
The HPV vaccine is administered in two doses. More than 220,000 Irish girls have received the vaccine, according to the HSE.
Throughout the years, calls for more widespread information on the vaccine has been repeatedly made.
Marianne Foody, a student at DCU, recalled her experience of receiving the vaccination.
“I got the vaccine when I was in second level, it was a convent. The school did not talk much about it other than the fact that they urged us strongly to get this vaccine, they did not go into detail about exactly what it was for. It was only when I brought the leaflet home and spoke to my mother than I found out it was to prevent cervical cancer,” Foody said.
Selina McGreal, a Senior Clinical Pharmacist in Mayo General Hospital carried out research into the vaccine last year.
“A Danish study carried out in 2015, which included 1.6 million people, concluded that there was no direct link between chronic fatigue and the vaccine. Out of every 100 children and adolescents, ten will develop chronic fatigue syndrome regardless if they receive the vaccine or not,” McGreal explained.
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