Decline in vaccinations against cancer-causing HPV for Northamptonshire girls, new figures reveal

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
National charity says the vaccine has saved many lives

HPV vaccine uptake in Northamptonshire has fallen significantly from pre-pandemic levels, new figures show.

Girls in England are offered free HPV jabs at school during years 8 and 9, when they are aged between 12 and 14.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Data from the UK Health Security Agency shows 69.3 percent of year 9 girls in Northamptonshire had both HPV jabs in the 2021-22 academic year.

1,357 of the 4,423 girls in the cohort in Northamptonshire were not fully vaccinated.1,357 of the 4,423 girls in the cohort in Northamptonshire were not fully vaccinated.
1,357 of the 4,423 girls in the cohort in Northamptonshire were not fully vaccinated.

It means 1,357 of the 4,423 girls in the cohort were not fully vaccinated.

The jab rate was down from 79 percent the year previous and below pre-pandemic levels in 2018-19 when uptake was at 81.9 percent.

Some girls were given the second shot in year 10 due to the impact of school closures the programme — 80.8 percent of this cohort across Northamptonshire had both jabs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The HPV vaccination protects against the human papilloma virus, which is responsible for most cervical cancer cases, as well as some other rarer cancers.

Samantha Dixon, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust chief executive, said cases of cervical cancer have fallen 87 percent in vaccinated women, so progress cannot be lost.

"More education about the HPV vaccine, and how it can protect against cervical cancer, could help reduce vaccine hesitancy and tackle barriers to uptake," Ms Dixon added.

"The HPV vaccine - combined with cervical screening - gives us the opportunity to prevent many cases of cervical cancer and save many lives."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Northampton General Hospital visiting returns to pre-Christmas rules after 11-da...

Across the country, about 67.3 percent of year 9 girls were fully vaccinated last year – a drop from the level seen three years before, when 83.9 percent had both shots.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA said, "In recent years we have seen vaccine coverage fall due to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

"Many young people who missed out on their vaccinations have already been caught up, but more needs to be done to ensure all those eligible are vaccinated."

Ms Saliba added that children and young people who missed out on the vaccine should contact their school nurse, school immunisation team or GP to arrange getting the shots.

People are eligible for the jabs up until their 25th birthday.

“The vaccine works and will save lives," Ms Saliba said.