The HPV vaccine has been offered to girls in secondary schools in Scotland since 2008. High uptake of the HPV vaccine has reduced levels of cancer-causing HPV in young women in Scotland by 90%. From academic year 2019/20, the HPV vaccine will be offered to S1 boys as well. The HPV vaccine protects against the two types of HPV that cause 75% of cervical cancer cases. These two types of HPV also cause:
• 90% of anal cancers (approximately)
• 85% of head and neck cancers
• 78% of vaginal cancers
• 50% of penile cancers
• 25% of vulval cancers across the world (statistics vary country to country).
The vaccine also protects against two other types of HPV that cause about 90% of genital warts cases. Head and neck cancers are most common in males, and around 1,250 people are diagnosed each year in Scotland. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 years of age in Scotland and HPV is the main cause. The HPV vaccine is offered to pupils from age 11 in secondary school because the vaccine is most effective before they become sexually active.
Consent packs containing a letter, leaflet and consent form will be distributed to secondary schools to be issued to pupils and their parents/carers in advance of the first HPV immunisation session. Consent will only be asked for once, and this will cover all required doses of the vaccine.
Here is a video clip to help explain in more detail:-