THE HSE/South East Community Healthcare is holding free HPV vaccination clinics in Enniscorthy for people aged 16 or older who didn’t yet get the papillomaviruses (HPV) vaccine.
Eligible people can register on www.hpv.ie for an appointment for a free vaccine which are being offered as part of the ‘Laura Brennan Catch Up Programme’ – an initiative supported by Bernie and Larry Brennan, whose late daughter, Laura Brennan campaigned for higher uptake of the HPV vaccine before her death from cervical cancer in 2019, when she was just 26 years of age.
The County Wexford clinic will take place in the Vaccination Hub at St John’s Hospital, Enniscorthy (Y21H4CF), on Thursday, March 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
A spokesperson for the HSE said the first year of the secondary school immunisation programme will continue as normal throughout 2023. Free HPV vaccines will also be offered to all boys and girls in second-level education who were previously eligible to receive the vaccine but who have not yet received it.
Speaking about the clinic and the rollout of similar initiatives across Counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary and Waterford, the Principal Medical Officer with HSE/South East Community Healthcare, Dr. Kathleen O’ Sullivan said: “The most common cancer caused by the HPV virus is cervical cancer – cancer of the neck of the womb.”
However, Dr O’Sullivan said the HPV virus can cause other cancers and conditions that can affect boys and since September 2019, boys have also been offered the HPV vaccine. “The more young people vaccinated, both boys and girls, the better the spread of the infection can be controlled and cancers prevented,” said Dr O’Sullivan.
“If you are under 16 and want to get the HPV vaccine, you do not need to do anything for now,” she added.
“You will get vaccinated free of charge through your school or a HSE clinic in 2023.”
Those eligible for the free HPV vaccine include females aged 16 to 24 and males aged 16 or older who started First Year in secondary school, home-school or a special school between 2019 and 2021.
The programme is available for those aged under 25 years who were previously eligible but have not yet received the HPV vaccine yet and those eligible can register on www.hpv.ie for an appointment.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee recently advised that only one dose of HPV vaccine is required in those aged under 25 and while most people will only need one dose of the HPV vaccine, the HSE spokesperson said anyone with a weak immune system will require three doses.
For more information and to learn more about the importance of the HPV vaccine log on to www.hpv.ie and also look up https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/schoolprog/hpv/hpv-vaccine-catch-up-programme/