From today, Australia will move from two doses to a single dose of the Gardasil®9 human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for routine immunisation of young people under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
The free catch-up program for young people who have missed vaccination has also been extended from the current 19 years of age to people under 26 years of age.
Young people (except those who are immunocompromised) who receive a single dose before 26 years of age are now considered fully vaccinated and don’t need further doses.
The change is based on the latest international scientific and clinical evidence which shows a single dose gives comparable protection against HPV infection in healthy young people.
It is supported by the Government’s expert advisory group, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the World Health Organization immunisation expert group and the United Kingdom’s immunisation expert group.
The HPV vaccine is delivered free through school immunisation programs for children aged 12-13. Catch-up vaccination is provided through immunisation clinics at schools or through a General Practitioner, community pharmacy or other primary care providers.
HPV is a common virus that is primarily spread through sexual contact. Infection can cause cancers and other conditions that lead to serious health consequences in people of all genders.
Almost all cervical cancers are linked to HPV infection, with the vaccine also protecting against genital warts and HPV-related genital, anal and oropharyngeal cancers.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Many young people will be happy to only receive one jab instead of two. A single dose is considered by the experts to be just as effective in preventing HPV infection.”
“This will make it easier to protect young people from the range of cancers and diseases caused by HPV and help eliminate cervical cancer in Australia.”
“If you’re a 20 to 26 year old and haven’t had an HPV vaccine and you’re now funded to catch up, now is the time to get the jab and protect yourself.”