Immunising against HPV was crucial to help prevent a range of cancers.
Immunising against HPV was crucial to help prevent a range of cancers. Greg Miller

Young men, women missing HPV shots

ONLY 75% of 15-year-old girls in Wide Bay have been fully vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, new figures show.

The latest AIHW report shows how many girls, and for the first time, boys, aged 15 who have been fully immunised against HPV.

The report provided vaccination rates for 80 small local areas, providing schools and health managers with detailed information about where improvement was needed.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said immunising against HPV was crucial to help prevent a range of cancers, including cervical cancer.

"On the Wide Bay, only 66% of boys aged 15 received the full course of Gardasil. The program is newer for boys, however, and we expect this rate to increase over time,” she said.

"We need to ensure the number of eligible children receiving the full course of Gardasil continues to rise.

"Parents should check in with their child and ensure all three doses of the vaccine have been administered for best protection against HPV-related cancer and disease.”

HPV is a common virus that can be largely prevented through vaccination - the uptake of HPV vaccinations is critical in reducing the rising trend of HPV-related cancers.

"It's absolutely vital that all eligible young people receive the full course of the vaccine - taking preventive action against HPV is vital and could save a young person's life in years to come,” Ms McMillan said.

"The HPV vaccine has dramatically reduced human papillomavirus in vaccinated Australians, protecting our next generation from cervical cancer.”

The vaccine protects against the two high-risk HPV types (types 16 and 18), which cause 70% of cervical cancersin women and 90 per cent of all HPV-related cancers in men.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes around 90% of anal cancers, 35 per cent of penile cancers and 60% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer of the back of the throat, including tongue and tonsils) in Australia.

The Gardasil vaccination is most effective if administered before a young person becomes sexually active. Those eligible can also receive the vaccination through their GP.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.