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180 women a day immunising against cervical cancer

MEDIA RELASE

21 October 2008

180 women a day immunising against cervical cancer

One month on from the start of the free National HPV Immunisation Programme and already 180 eligible women born in 1990 & 1991 are taking up immunisation each day, according to figures released by CSL Biotherapies, the biopharmaceutical company working with the MoH to deliver Gardasil through General Practice.

The statistics also show that 70% of young women are signing up for the novel pilot programme that reminds them to take all of the three-shot immunisation using email and txt-based reminders.

Over September, the first month of the programme, almost a quarter of eligible women (4054 of an estimated 15,000) started their course of three immunisation shots.

Of these women, 2909 filled out an enrolment card for the Remind Me text and/or email reminder programme after their first vaccine shot.

Country Manager of CSL Biotherapies (NZ) Ltd, Mike Taylor, said it was a promising start to the programme, especially the response to the reminder programme which may be a first of its kind for NZ.

“Early uptake of the vaccine among young women aged 17-18 years is slightly ahead of our expectations, despite some reports that suggest otherwise. It should climb gradually as young women learn more about the programme and more medical clinics begin to ramp up their plans supporting it. I’m somewhat surprised to hear reports of low rates of response particularly since no-one has asked us for any data.”

“The most exciting early signal is voluntary adoption of the reminder service.

“The service reminds women using email and mobile phone text messages when they are due for the next shot, and will monitor when they have it done.

“The uptake shows a high degree of responsibility from women. They clearly understand the importance of completing the course of three shots for full protection, and want to make sure they do it.

“If successful, it could be the start of a new way of increasing the effectiveness of vaccination programmes,” Mr Taylor said.

ENDS

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