HPV vaccination programme moves to single dose

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps to prevent HPV-related cancers from developing in boys and girls. While most types of HPV are harmless, some high-risk types can lead to the development of cancers, including cervical cancer, cancers of the head and neck (mouth and throat) and cancers of the anus and genital areas. The vaccine also helps protect against genital warts.

The HPV vaccine has been part of the NHS routine vaccination schedule since 2008 and is one of the most successful in the world; dramatically lowering the rates of cervical cancer and harmful infections in both women and men, preventing many cancers and saving lives.

In the UK it is available to all young people in Year 8 and Year 9 (aged 12 to 13 years), offered mainly in secondary schools – this includes children not in mainstream school via a community clinic delivery model.

Previously delivered in two doses, the latest evidence shows that one dose provides protection as robust as two. With this in mind, as of this academic year (September 2023), teenagers only require a single HPV vaccination. This follows updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

If your child is starting Year 8, an HPV pack will be shared with them at school or posted from your local education authority if your child is home educated. The pack will include a letter, information leaflet and consent form. Please return the consent form either accepting or declining the HPV vaccination to your child’s school immediately.

For further information relating to consent, please see the online leaflet Consent to treatment – Children and young people – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Information about the vaccinations will be added to your child’s health records, including records at their GP surgery, and held by the NHS.

The information leaflet included in the pack informs you and your child about the HPV vaccine. We hope it helps address any concerns you or your child might have. For more information about the HPV vaccine please see the Immunisation team website at: School-aged Immunisation Team > CYPS Glos Health & Care NHS (ghc.nhs.uk).

If you would like more detailed information and links to other useful websites about the vaccination, please visit: HPV vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

If your child is entering Year 9 and received a first dose in Year 8, they are now considered fully vaccinated. You will receive a letter from our service advising you of your child’s HPV vaccination status in due course.

Please note, this is a school-based programme and can only be accessed via your child’s school session or our community clinics. If you have any questions, concerns, additional needs, or if your child is absent or unwell on the day of the session, contact our School-Aged Immunisation team on 0300 421 8140 or email GHC.Immunisation@ghc.nhs.uk

If you wish to attend with your child, please book a community clinic appointment by calling 0300 421 8140. If this is the case, please submit a consent form declining the offer for the school-based session and we will request that you complete a new consent form when attending the community clinic.

If your child has missed their HPV vaccine it is vital they get protected. Parents and guardians who are unsure whether their children are up to date with their vaccinations are encouraged to get in touch with our immunisation team, who will check their record and offer them catch-up vaccinations if needed.

Community clinic dates and locations will be available in due course. If you have any questions or would like further advice, please feel free to give our friendly team a call on 0300 421 8140.

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