Vaccine plan bypasses GPs – and parents!

Timaru Herald 31 Oct 2012
Failure to get young girls to decide if they want to take up the HPV vaccination has prompted changes to the way it can be accessed in South Canterbury.

From next year, 12-year-olds eligible for the vaccine will be able to get their first, second and third jab through their school.

The vaccine is designed to protect girls against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer.

Until now, the first of the three vaccines was administered at schools and girls had to go to their GP for their second and third injections.

However, South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) primary and community services general manager Fiona Pimm said girls were failing to make the visits to their GP, which meant those girls had not agreed to, nor declined the vaccine.

“The GPs were calling them in, but we couldn’t mark them as declined – it was a ‘no response’ group.

“When we went through schools we got declines and more saying they will have it, but we didn’t get the [girls getting] the second and third vaccinations.”

From term one next year, South Canterbury schools will offer all three vaccinations – a process which already happens across the North Island, Ms Pimm said.