More than 70% of 12–13 year old girls have already had their first human papillomavirus (HPV) jab since the vaccination campaign started in September, Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo announced today (22 December 2008).
This figure is expected to rise as more results come in. The success of the campaign has prompted the Department of Health (DH) to announce that the catch-up campaign to vaccinate girls aged 13-17 years will be brought forward to next year.
According to early figures out today, 148 of the 152 PCTs in England have already started vaccinating young girls, with 24 PCTs reporting an uptake of 90% or more. In addition, 124 PCTs are already giving the second dose of HPV.
Dawn Primarolo said: "This vaccination programme is about saving lives. It's great news that more than 70% of 12–13 year old girls have already had their first vaccine doses. I want to thank the local health teams, schools, girls and parents for making this programme such a success.
"Next year we'll be investing more money so that trusts can bring forward their catch-up programmes to cover 13-17 year old girls. This means that girls can be offered protection against cervical cancer earlier."
The DH will bring forward up to £17m for PCTs in 2009 to implement this accelerated programme and ensure the roll-out is a success.