HPV Vaccination Changes in 2018
4 December 2017
The National Immunisation Program (NIP) will adopt a new HPV vaccine in 2018, which protects against 9 types of HPV (9vHPV or Gardasil®9), in a 2-dose schedule given at least 6 months apart. This vaccine protects against additional high-risk HPV types to protect against over 90% of cervical cancers in women and also against additional cancers in men.
All children in Year 7 are offered free HPV vaccination via the NSW school vaccination program.
The latest international evidence demonstrates that a 2-dose schedule of any HPV vaccine given to individuals aged 9-14 years at least 6 months apart gives equivalent protection to a 3-dose schedule. In 2017, a 2-dose 4vHPV vaccine (Gardasil®) schedule was adopted for Year 7 students in the NSW school vaccination program and as such these students are now considered fully vaccinated and do not need a third dose. Parents are being advised of the schedule change, and for those who still wish for their child to have a third dose in 2017 can obtain it via their GP.
Some individuals are still recommended to have a 3-dose schedule including:
- those who receive their first dose of HPV vaccine at 15 years of age or older. Note: only 2 doses of Gardasil®9 are funded through the NIP for these individuals.
- those with significant immunocompromise (detailed advice on NSW Health). Given the scheduling of school programs, these individuals will require referral to their health care provider to ensure the completion of all 3 doses of Gardasil®9 vaccination.
Re-vaccination with Gardasil®9 is not routinely recommended for individuals who have already completed a full schedule with either Gardasil® or Cervarix® vaccine. Individuals who have already received a completed schedule of Gardasil® through the NIP are not eligible for free Gardasil®9 vaccination.
Providers can also offer free HPV catch-up vaccination to adolescents aged 10-19 years under the catch up program. Providers are strongly encouraged to notify each dose of HPV vaccine administered in general practice to the National HPV Register, as well as the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).