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What if my child misses out?

What if my child misses a dose? 

If your child has the first dose of the vaccine as part of the free program but misses the second dose, they will need to ‘catch up' this dose.

Your local school immunisation provider will usually contact you if a dose has been missed. Depending on where you live, the missed dose might be given through your school, at a special catch-up clinic or by your local doctor. Contact your local school immunisation provider if you're not sure where to get a 'catch-up' dose.

The Australian Immunisation Register keeps a record of how many doses have been given and sends out a letter once all required doses have been received. If you want to check how many doses of the vaccine your child has had, contact the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809.

People aged 14 and under should receive their second dose 6–12 months after the first.

Those receiving three doses (including people aged 15 and older), ideally should receive the second dose of the vaccine two months after the first, and the third four months after the second ­– or at 0, 2 and 6 months.

Research shows if the second and/or third doses are given later than planned, the body still responds very well to the vaccine and makes high levels of antibodies which protect against HPV infection. 

This means it is still beneficial to receive all recommended doses of the vaccine, even if they aren't received at the correct intervals. A complete course provides the best protection. 

What if my child missed out on in-school vaccination last year? Can he/she still get it?

It's not too late to get your child vaccinated. Contact your local immunisation provider or doctor to organise vaccination. Depending on your child's age, and whether your child has had any previous doses, there may be an out-of-pocket expense. Two doses are funded for free up to the age of 19 years.

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Design and partial content reproduced with the kind permission of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

The HPV vaccine is a prescription medicine. Medicines have benefits and risks. After reading this website, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of this vaccine and to check eligibility.

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