More than 70 per cent of 12-13 year old girls have already had their first HPV (human papillomavirus) jab since the vaccination campaign started in September, Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo announced today. This figure will rise as more results come in.
The success of the campaign has prompted the Department of Health to announce that the catch up campaign to vaccinate girls aged 13-17 years will be brought forward to next year.
Early figures out today show that:
* 148 of the 152 Trusts have already started vaccinating young girls;
* 24 Trusts have reported uptake of 90 percent or more; and
* 124 Trusts are already giving the second dose of HPV.
Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "This vaccination programme is about saving lives. It's great news that more than 70 per cent of 12-13 year old girls have already had their first vaccine doses. I want to thank the local health teams, schools, girls and parents for making this programme such a success.
"Next year we'll be investing more money so that Trusts can bring forward their catch-up programmes to cover 13-17 year old girls. This means that girls can be offered protection against cervical cancer earlier."
The Department of Health will bring forward up to £17 million for Trusts in 2009 to implement this accelerated programme and ensure the roll out is a success.