All girls aged 12 to 13 are offered HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. The vaccine protects against cervical cancer. It’s usually given to girls in year eight at schools in England.
According to Cancer Research UK, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35. In the UK, 2,900 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer, that’s around eight women every day.
Around 970 women died from cervical cancer in 2011 in the UK. It’s estimated that about 400 lives could be saved every year in the UK as a result of vaccinating girls before they are infected with HPV.
The HPV vaccine consists of two injections into the upper arm spaced at least six, and not more than 24 months apart (girls who began vaccination before September 2014 receive three injections). We currently use Gardasil which protects against four strains of the virus. The vaccine is supplies by the Department of Health.
How does my child get this vaccination?
When your daughter reaches eligible age you will be sent a letter via school, or if your daughter does not attend school this will be sent to your home address. The letter will advise you that you need to complete consent from. Consent forms can be found on by clicking the links on our immunisation page. If you are not able to access the consent form and complete it online please do contact us on 0300 123 5205 and we will send a paper copy out to you.
On the day
It is important that on the day of vaccination that girls wear short sleeves that allow easy access to their upper arms, privacy in schools is often limited and it can be embarrassing if girls have to remove their shirts. It is also vital that girls eat breakfast and are well hydrated prior to immunisations being given.
Our teams collect the details of children who have been vaccinated, and send it to Child Health Records Departments in Kent, or East Sussex depending on where you live. The information is then passed to your child’s GP.
Can we help?
If you have any concerns about this vaccination, for example if you are worried because your child is needle phobic, has additional needs, or you want to ask any questions please do contact us on 0300 123 5205 and we can arrange for you to speak to one of your friendly local immunisation nurses.