National Immunisation Program – implementation of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program

2.6 million girls and women throughout Australia will be offered the vaccine against Human Papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, over the next five years.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • More than 200 women die from cervical cancer each year in Australia.
  • A vaccine against four human papillomavirus (HPV) types has been developed and approved for use in Australia. Two of these HPV types are responsible for 70 per cent of cervical cancers.

Who will benefit?

  • 2.6 million girls and women throughout Australia will be offered the vaccine over the next five years. The National Immunisation Program will offer free HPV vaccines to girls and women aged 12 to 26:
    • approximately 130,000 girls aged 12 and 13 years will be offered the vaccine on an ongoing annual basis;
    • a catch-up group of 13 to 18 year old females will be offered the vaccine in a largely school-based program conducted over 2007 and 2008; and
    • a further catch-up group of females aged from 18 to 26 years of age will be offered the vaccine in a community-based program delivered mainly through general practice over two years from July 2007 to June 2009.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Commonwealth Government has committed a total of $579.3 million from 2006-07 to 2010-11 for the HPV vaccination program. This consists of $475.9 million over five years for vaccine costs, as well as a further $103.5 million over five years for program implementation costs.

What have we done in the past?

  • Government spending on vaccines under the National Immunisation Program has increased from $13.0 million in 1996 to $283.0 million in 2006-07.
  • Australia has the second lowest incidence rate and lowest death rate worldwide from cervical cancer in part due to the success of the National Cervical Screening Program.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing initiative.

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