The Marie Keating Foundation has proudly joined the HPV Vaccination Alliance; a group of organisations that have come together to sign a Contract Against Cancer, specifically HPV- related cancers. More than 30 organisations, including leading health, children and women’s groups, have come together to express their dismay at recent reports that uptake of the HPV vaccine has fallen as low as 50% nationally.
The aim of the alliance is to encourage everyone to look at the facts surrounding the life-saving Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, particularly in the run up to the new school year. The alliance is concerned that the fall-off in the HPV vaccination uptake is due to misinformation about the vaccine causing long-term illnesses. There is no scientific evidence to support this assertion. Over 100 million people have been fully vaccinated to date and research by multiple independent, international experts has found no difference in the rates of serious illnesses between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
This new school term approximately 30,000 first-year secondary schoolgirls will be offered the vaccine as part of a national vaccination programme which began in 2010. Figures from the HSE show that the number of schoolgirls receiving the vaccine in the last academic school year dropped by 5,000 compared to 2014/2015.
In 2017, up to 420 people in Ireland will be diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV and vaccination can greatly reduce this number.
Contract Against Cancer:
ENDORSES the HPV vaccine as a proven and safe way to protect from cancers which destroy and end lives.
REALISES its obligation to do all we can to protect health and well-being by ensuring the facts prevail when it comes to the HPV vaccine.
PLEDGES to raise awareness of the HPV vaccine and its benefits in stopping cancer and saving lives.
For the first time, the ability to spare our country’s children the devastation of a cancer diagnosis is a reality. The Alliance believes it has a duty to act urgently to prevent future hardship and save lives.
For more information on the HPV Vaccination Alliance and its Contract Against Cancer click here.[Reference: National Cancer Registry Ireland and National Immunisation Office (HPV.ie)].