Cancer Council welcomes new vaccine to protect women from 90% of cervical cancers

Monday 4 September, 2017

Cancer Council Victoria welcomes the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s (PBAC) recommendation to include Gardasil 9 in the National Immunisation Program.

The new, more effective HPV vaccination will boost protection against cervical cancer in fully vaccinated females to 90 per cent in just two vaccination doses.

This compares to the current vaccination which offers women 77 per cent protection. 

Cancer Council Victoria Manager of Screening, Early Detection and Immunisation Kate Broun said that the new vaccination would provide women with greater protection against cervical cancer.

“We know there are 13 types of HPV associated with developing cervical cancer,” she said. 

“The new vaccine includes nine of these types, lifting protection from 77 to 90 per cent.”

Gardasil 9 will provide fully vaccinated women with protection against all the HPV strains in the current quadrivalent vaccine, as well as the five next most common HPV types found in cervical cancer (types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58).

It offers better protection from two, instead of three, doses of the vaccination.

Ms Broun said a two-dose schedule had the potential to improve vaccination rates across Victoria.

“The potential of the new vaccination is enormous – increasing coverage and improving protection could reduce cervical cancer cases, as well as providing boys and girls with protection against less common HPV related cancers and genital warts,” she said.

“This highlights why it is crucial that all boys and girls aged 12 and 13 receive the HPV vaccination, and receive all doses.

“It is a highly effective vaccination and can significantly decrease the chance of developing HPV-related illnesses including cancer and genital warts.”

Ms Broun said that cervical screening continued to be important for those vaccinated. 

“Together, the HPV vaccine and regular cervical screening offer women the most effective protection against cervical cancer,” she said. 

The current HPV vaccine is provided free in schools to all males and females aged 12-13 years under the National HPV Vaccination Program.

Cancer Council Victoria encourages anyone who has commenced the vaccination program in 2017 to continue and not to delay their third dose. 

For more information about HPV vaccination visit http://www.hpvvaccine.org.au/