Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (404)

Mary Butler


404. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if the HPV vaccination programme will be delivered under the drugs payment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52931/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).  It makes recommendations on vaccination policy to my Department.  NIAC continues to revise recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease.  Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time.

A gender neutral HPV vaccination programme which targets all girls and boys in first year of secondary school was introduced in September 2019.  

The ages at which vaccines are recommended in the immunisation schedule are chosen by the NIAC in order to give each child the best possible protection against vaccine preventable diseases.  As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection.  Therefore, the gender neutral HPV vaccination programme targets all girls and boys in first year of secondary school to provide maximum coverage. 

All vaccines administered through the School Immunisation Programme are provided free of charge.