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HPV vaccinations: act now!

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Senator Helen Polley Labor Senator for Tasmania




“Young women between the ages of 12-26 should be queuing up to take part in the free vaccination program to prevent cervical cancers”, said Senator Helen Polley.

From April 1, Australian schoolgirls aged 12 and 13 will be eligible for free vaccinations under the National HPV vaccination program. A two-year catch-up program will also be held for girls aged 13 to 18. Women aged 18 and 26 will also be able to get the vaccine free from GPs by mid-year.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection, mostly affecting women 20 to 24 years of age. Almost all abnormal Pap smear results are caused by HPV.

“It is an exciting medical development and has been proven to be quite effective”, said Senator Polley.

Extensive studies reveal that Gardasil® can aid in the prevention of cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer, precancerous or dysplastic lesions, genital warts, and infection caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Types 6, 11, 16, and 18.

Senator Polley said, “It is important to note that Gardasil prevents, but does not treat, cancers or HPV”.

Over 200 Australian women die of cervical cancer each year. “… and this is why it is vital that young women have the immunisation. I urge all young Tasmanian women to go their GP and begin the Gardasil┬« vaccination program “, Senator Polley said.

The vaccination is given in a series of three injections within a six month timeframe. During large clinical trials the drug was shown to be safe, with only mild side effects.

Senator Polley also commented, “Regular Pap Smears are still essential because the vaccine does not prevent all cervical cancers”.

For further comment please contact Jessica Bowley on 0438 003 328