Parents urged to help protect their children against HPV-related cancers

14 February 2014

ALPINE Shire Council and Cancer Council Victoria are encouraging parents to ensure they sign and return consent forms for their children who are eligible for the free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

The HPV vaccine has been proven to significantly reduce the prevalence of high grade cervical abnormalities in young women, which can lead to cervical cancer if left undetected and untreated.

As part of the National HPV Vaccination Program, Victorian high schools are offering the three-dose HPV vaccine Gardasil for free to girls and boys in Year 7. Until the end of 2014, boys in Year 9 are also being offered the vaccine for free at school under the national catch-up program.

Cancer Council Victoria Director of Prevention Craig Sinclair said that to reduce the number of HPV-related cancers and disease in both men and women, it’s important for both boys and girls to be vaccinated.

“The vaccine protects against the two high-risk HPV types which cause 70% of cervical cancers in women and 90% of all HPV-related cancers in men,” he said.

“The vaccine also provides protection against two low-risk HPV types which cause 90% of genital warts in men and women.

“HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection and the vaccine works best if given before exposure to the virus has taken place. This is why it’s so important for boys and girls to complete the three-dose vaccine at a young age.”

Alpine Shire Council Senior Environmental Health Officer Paul Bond said students can only receive the vaccine at school when their parents have returned completed consent forms to their child’s school.
“Each school in the Alpine Shire has a different timetable for delivering the three doses of the vaccine, so it’s important for parents to know when their child is due to be vaccinated,” he said.

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