Wednesday, January 25, 2023

A free clinic will be available to over-16s in Waterford this Friday and Sunday, where they can avail of a HPV vaccine. 

Eligible people can register on for an appointment for a free vaccine, offered as part of the Laura Brennan Catch Up Programme – an initiative supported by Bernie and Larry Brennan, parents of the late Laura Brennan who campaigned for higher uptake of the HPV vaccine before her death from cervical cancer in 2019, aged 26.

The first clinic in Waterford will be available this Friday, January 27th from 9.30am to 4pm at the Clinic Rooms in the HSE Community Care Services Centre on the Cork Road in Waterford City. A further clinic will be held at the same venue on Sunday, January 29th, from 10am to 3.45pm. 

The vaccine roll-out programme will continue for those in 1st Year classes of local secondary schools. Free HPV vaccines will also be offered to all boys and girls in second-level education who were previously eligible to receive the vaccine and who have not yet received it.

Dr. Kathleen O’ Sullivan, Principal Medical Officer with the HSE/South East Community Healthcare, is encouraging people to avail of this service. 

“The most common cancer caused by the HPV virus is cervical cancer – cancer of the neck of the womb. However, the HPV virus can cause other cancers and conditions that can affect boys, and since September 2019, boys have also been offered the HPV vaccine. The more young people vaccinated – both boys and girls – the better the spread of the infection can be controlled and cancers prevented. If you are under 16 and want to get the HPV vaccine, you do not need to do anything for now. You will get vaccinated free of charge through your school or a HSE clinic in 2023.”

You can book a free HPV vaccine catch-up appointment if you are: A female aged between 16 to 24 years, or a male aged 16 or older who started 1st year of secondary school, home-school or a special school between 2019 and 2021. 

The programme is available for those aged under 25 years who were previously eligible but have not received the HPV vaccine yet. 

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has recently advised that only one dose of HPV vaccine is required in those aged under 25. Most people will only need one dose of HPV vaccine. However, anyone with a weak immune system will require three doses.

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