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School-age girl receiving HPV vaccine injection.

School-age girl receiving HPV vaccine injection.
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HPV vaccine

2-minute read

A vaccine against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was introduced in 2007. It is currently given free to girls aged 12-13 years and boys aged 12-13 years. Young people of this age are targeted for vaccination because it is best given before sexual activity begins.

There is a series of three HPV vaccinations, delivered at school over a six month period by qualified immunisation provider. It is best that you get all three to have a better chance of beating the virus, although none of these vaccinations are compulsory.

The first dose of the vaccine will be given either at school in year 7 or 8 or possibly at a doctor's surgery. You can have the vaccination when you are 14 or older, but you might have to pay for it. Check with your doctor.

The second dose will be given around two months after the first. The third is given around four months after the second dose. All three doses should be given within six months.

Changes to cervical screening

From 1 December 2017 the National Cervical Screening Program will change to improve early detection. The current 2 yearly Pap test will change to a 5 yearly HPV test.

What should I do before 1 December 2017?
If you are a woman aged 18 to 69, you should continue to have your regular Pap test every 2 years.

When will I be due for my first HPV test?
Women will be due for the first HPV test 2 years after their last Pap test.

More information
Read more about changes to National Cervical Screening Program


Last reviewed: October 2017

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