By Emma Bailey
It’s half-way through the year and only 6 per cent of eligible South Canterbury year 7 girls have been immunised against HPV (human papillomavirus) compared with 64 per cent in the first year it was offered.
National Women’s Hospital gynaecology Ron Jones held a meeting in Timaru last night to reassure parents about any concerns they might have about the vaccine.
Professor Jones has pushed for the development of a vaccine against cervical cancer.
When the HPV vaccination was first offered in South Canterbury, 64 per cent of year 7 girls took up the offer, 28 per cent declined it, and 8 per cent did nothing. In 2009 this dropped to 56 per cent of eligible year 7 girls, with 31 per cent declining and 13 per cent doing nothing.
Last year there was a significant decline, with only 17 per cent being vaccinated, 8 per cent declining and 75 per cent doing nothing. While there is still six more months for year 7 girls to be vaccinated, only 6 per cent have been fully vaccinated, 2 per cent have declined and 92 per cent have done nothing.