HPV immunisation programme
Planning is well underway for the school-based phase of the HPV (human papillomavirus) immunisation programme.
The school-based phase of the HPV (human papillomavirus) immunisation programme is well underway. 2010 is the last year of the school-based catch-up programme for girls in years 9 to 13. From 2011 the HPV immunisation will only be available through schools for year 8 girls.
The Ministry of Health programme aims to reduce cervical cancer in New Zealand by protecting girls against HPV infection. Each year around 160 New Zealand women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 60 women die from it. The immunisation programme aims to halve these deaths.
The Ministry of Education has been working with the Ministry of Health to support programme delivery through schools. The Ministries of Health and Education support school-based programmes, as they are associated with higher coverage rates and reduced inequalities compared to vaccine delivery in other settings.
The programme provides the GARDASIL® vaccine for 12 year old girls (year 8) from late in term one in 2009, largely through a school-based programme. GARDASIL® protects against the two HPV types that can cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers. The vaccination is given as a series of three injections in the upper arm over a six-month period. At the end of the catch-up programme HPV immunisation will continue for girls in year 8 through school-based programmes as part of the National Immunisation Schedule.
The Ministry of Health is working with district health boards on the programme. Most parts of the country are operating a school-based programme but in areas where girls are not able to be vaccinated at school, they can access information about the programme and alternative providers from public health nurses in schools.
Public health nurses are liaising with individual schools around how best to provide immunisations in each school.
As in 2009, district health boards (DHBs) and public health nurses would like to continue to access specific information about eligible students from school rolls to help administer the programme (full name, date of birth, ethnicity, contact address, phone number and school room number). Again, boards of trustees need to consider whether to provide this information.
In 2008 the Ministries of Health and Education sought the view of the Privacy Commissioner. Her view was, that given the importance of the public health goals at issue, school boards of trustees may disclose personal information about students for immunisation purposes; as long as they first notify parents/guardians they intend to do so.
The HPV vaccine will also be available through primary health care providers (including the family doctor, practice nurse or health clinic).
You can download copies of advice provided by the Ministry of Education to schools and education sector groups below.
For more information about the HPV programme, see the Ministry of Health website, email firstname.lastname@example.org [no spam] or phone 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)