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Improving the HPV immunisation programme

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health

18 September 2015

Improving the HPV immunisation programme

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has welcomed a plan to improve the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme.

Currently around 61 per cent of eligible girls who turned 12 years of age in 2014 are fully immunised against HPV. For Māori and Pacific girls, the rates are higher at 64 per cent and 73 per cent respectively.

“Improving HPV immunisation coverage will have significant long term benefits for New Zealand women,” says Dr Coleman. “These benefits include a reduction in the incidence of HPV infections, the cause of 70 per cent of cervical cancers.”

The Ministry of Health has been working with DHBs and immunisation specialists on ways to improve the HPV immunisation programme.

“We are looking at ways to improve the connections between public health nurses and primary care, to make sure girls who do not have the vaccine at school are being offered it through their family doctor,” says Dr Coleman.

“To help track improvements a new performance measure has been introduced. It is hoped 75 per cent of eligible girls will be fully immunised by the end of 2017.

“The immunisation improvement plan, which can be viewed on the Ministry of Health website here, will be a useful resource for DHBs as they design their immunisation services.”

For more information about HPV immunisation, please go towww.moh.govt.nz/immunisation or www.immune.org.nz or call the free immunisation helpline 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).

ENDS

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