Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are a safe and reliable way to protect young people from a range of HPV-related cancers and diseases. HPV vaccines are critical to eliminating cervical cancer. Almost all cervical cancer relates to HPV infection. Vaccination also protects against genital warts and HPV related genital, anal and oropharyngeal cancers.
From 6 February 2023, the routine 2-dose HPV vaccine schedule provided to young people aged 12 to 13 years will become a single dose schedule. The National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides the schedule using the same Gardasil®9 vaccine.
The ongoing NIP-funded catch-up program for young people who missed their HPV vaccination is also extending. The program will extend to those up to and including 25 years of age (increasing from 19 years of age).
Young people (except those who are immunocompromised) who receive a single dose before 26 years of age now don’t need a second dose to be fully vaccinated.
People who are immunocompromised should still receive 3 doses of the HPV vaccine, which are all funded under the NIP before 26 years of age.
This change comes from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s (ATAGI) advice, who have considered the latest international scientific and clinical evidence. The data shows a single HPV vaccine dose gives comparable protection to healthy young people.
This change will make it easier to protect young people and help eliminate cervical cancer.