The number of students who have received a first dose of the HPV vaccine fell from 80% in 2019 to just 53.6% in 2020. The HSE said that school closures and the redeployment of school vaccination teams to COVID-19 vaccine roll-out have interrupted school vaccination programmes. This is deeply concerning, given the risks of not vaccinating and the strenuous efforts made by the HPV Vaccination Alliance, of which the IPU is a member, to increase HPV vaccination rates after they had plummeted to 50% in 2016/17 in large part due to misinformation about the vaccine’s safety being circulated by a concerted anti-vaccine campaign. We wrote to the Minister for Health proposing that he use the window of opportunity before pharmacies commence COVID-19 vaccination to allow pharmacists to administer HPV vaccine to the 50% of our young people who risk being left behind. You can read our letter here.
Calls to end the underutilisation of Ireland’s 1,900 Pharmacies Over 1