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HPV vaccination awareness campaign content hub

Campaign background

Victorian teenagers are being encouraged to catch-up on their scheduled human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations, with thousands missing out on the vaccine in the last two years due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Most recent statistics from the NCIRS Annual Immunisation Coverage Report 2020 show that the proportion of Australian adolescents completing the two-dose HPV vaccination schedule within a calendar year was 11.6 per cent lower in 2020 than in 2019.  

However, declines in Victoria were greater than any other state or territory with the number of Victorian teens completing the two-dose HPV vaccination schedule within a calendar year being 16.6 per cent lower in 2020 than in 2019, a five per cent greater reduction than the national result. 

Cancer Council Victoria are delivering an awareness campaign to remind children, their parents and schools about the importance of catching up on any missed HPV vaccinations.

The HPV vaccine is most effective when given around the ages of 12 to 13. If given at this age, two doses are needed, with the second dose administered at least 6 months after the first.  

For more information about HPV vaccination, visit www.hpvvaccine.org.au.

Key messages

COVID-19 impacts on HPV vaccination

  • The impacts of COVID-19 saw many children miss attendance at school over the past two years. Coupled with the ongoing impacts of quarantine due to the current high COVID-19 case numbers, Cancer Council Victoria anticipates that more eligible children will miss HPV vaccination this year.
  • Schools, immunisation providers, parents, GPs and other health professionals have an important role to play in checking HPV immunisation status of teens under their care and either administer any missed doses or offer practical help for them to catch up as soon as possible.
  • Other medical issues don’t stop because of COVID-19. During what is already a difficult time, it is vitally important that people look after their health. While HPV might not seem like a priority now, COVID-19 should not prevent us from taking the best possible care of our children and protecting their future.
  • If HPV vaccination has been missed (either one dose or both), contact your doctor or local council immunisation provider for further information on how to catch up on missed doses.

How you can help

By sharing the campaign messages when you communicate with your community members and networks, you can help us to increase HPV vaccination rates and save lives. We really appreciate your support.

Please share our social media posts and newsletter article by copying and pasting one or more of the images and text below and sharing on your social media platforms.

Don’t forget to tag us: @cancervic

Share our resources with your community

Social media tiles

Download these images to use in your social media posts.

Did your child miss their HPV vaccine at school due to COVID-19 interruptions? There's still time to catch up
Free HPV vaccinations for school students are available. See your GP to catch up.
Did your child miss out on their HPV vaccinations due to COVID-19 interruptions? Check now.

Sample social media posts

Sample post 1

Did your child miss their school-based HPV vaccinations during COVID-19? Speak to your GP or local council immunisation service about how they can catch up.

Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3tws9SW

Sample post 2

Are you a parent or guardian of a young teen and not sure if your child received all their HPV vaccinations during COVID-19 lockdowns? You can check their immunisation status via MyGov, call the Australian Immunisation Register or talk to your GP.

Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3hA4sUz

Sample post 3

Year 8 to 9 students: Did you miss out on getting your HPV vaccinations due to school lockdowns? Ask your parent or guardian to contact your GP or local council immunisation service to see how you can catch up.
Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3hyuGqq

Sample post 4

Any school students who missed their HPV vaccinations during the last 2 years due to COVID-19 interruptions can still catch up. Speak to your GP or local council immunisation service to find out how.

Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3MhXJNb

Media release

Read our media release: Thousands of Victorian teens miss out on HPV shots

COVID-19 and HPV vaccination fact sheet

Download and share our fact sheet Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and COVID-19: What you and your child need to know

Newsletter copy

Short form copy

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is provided free in Australian secondary schools to all children aged around 12–13 years under the National Immunisation Program. It is recommended that all children aged 12–13 years have the HPV vaccine and that two doses are required at least six months apart.

The impacts of COVID-19 saw many Victorian children miss attendance at school over the past two years. Coupled with the ongoing impacts of quarantine due to the current high COVID-19 case numbers, Cancer Council Victoria anticipates that more eligible children will miss HPV vaccine doses this year, putting them at increased risk of developing HPV-related illnesses and cancers in the future.

The HPV vaccine protects against nine types of HPV which cause around 90% of cervical cancers in women (and most other HPV-related cancers in women), 95% of all HPV-related cancers in men and 90% of genital warts across genders.

Other medical issues don’t stop because of COVID-19. During what is already a difficult time, it is vitally important that people look after their health. While HPV might not seem like a priority now, COVID-19 should not prevent us from taking the best possible care of our children and protecting their future.

If HPV vaccination has been missed (either dose or both), contact your doctor or local council immunisation provider for further information on how to catch up on missed doses.

For more information about the National Immunisation Program, how it works in Victoria and to find resources/information for children, parents/guardians, schools and health professionals, visit www.hpvvaccine.org.au

Longer form copy

Victorian children, parents and schools are being reminded about the importance of routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and the long-term health benefits it brings.

The HPV vaccine is provided free in Australian secondary schools to all children aged around 12–13 years under the National Immunisation Program. It is recommended that all children aged 12–13 years have the HPV vaccine and that two doses are required at least six months apart.

There is currently no treatment or cure for HPV. In most cases, the immune system clears HPV from the body naturally over time and has no long-lasting effects. However, there are many different HPV types and some high-risk HPV types can cause serious illness including cancer.

Although cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer caused by HPV, all genders can be affected. Persistent HPV infection is also known to cause other cancers, including penile, anal, vulval, vaginal and mouth/throat.

The HPV vaccine protects against nine types of HPV which cause around 90% of cervical cancers in women (and most other HPV-related cancers in women), 95% of all HPV-related cancers in men and 90% of genital warts across genders.

HPV is passed on during sexual activity and most people have at least one type of HPV at some time in their lives. You can be infected with HPV from one sexual partner, the first time you are sexually active. Condoms offer some but not total protection from HPV, as they don’t cover all of the genital skin.

It is important to remember that all sexually active people can catch HPV, therefore people of all genders and sexualities are recommended to have the HPV vaccine.

The impacts of COVID-19 saw many children miss attendance at school over the past two years. Coupled with the ongoing impacts of quarantine due to the current high COVID-19 case numbers, Cancer Council Victoria anticipates that more eligible children will miss HPV vaccine doses this year, putting them at risk of developing HPV-related illnesses and cancers in the future.

Parents, schools, immunisation providers, GPs and other health professionals have an important role to check HPV immunisation status of teens under their care and either administer any missed doses or offer practical help for them to catch up as soon as possible.

Other medical issues don’t stop because of COVID-19. During what is already a difficult time, it is vitally important that people look after their health. While HPV might not seem like a priority now, COVID-19 should not prevent us from taking the best possible care of our children and protecting their future.

If HPV vaccination has been missed (either dose or both), contact your doctor or local council immunisation provider for further information on how to catch up on missed doses.

For more information about the National Immunisation Program, how it works in Victoria and to find resources/information for children, parents/guardians, schools and health professionals, visit www.hpvvaccine.org.au

Newsletter copy for Primary Health Networks 

Short form copy 

Subject line: Health professionals urged to help teenagers to ‘catch up’ on missed HPV vaccinations 

The impacts of COVID-19 saw many Victorian teenagers miss attendance at school over the past two years, consequently HPV vaccination rates dropped in Victoria during this time. Coupled with the ongoing impacts of quarantine due to the current high COVID-19 case numbers, Cancer Council Victoria anticipates that more eligible children will miss the human papillomavirus HPV vaccine doses this year, putting them at increased risk of developing HPV-related illnesses and cancers in the future.  

Primary care providers, including GPs, nurses and practice staff, have a key role in helping to identify teens who missed their two doses of HPV vaccination, and in providing catch up HPV vaccination. 

The HPV vaccine protects against nine types of HPV which cause around 90% of cervical cancers in women (and most other HPV-related cancers in women), 95% of all HPV-related cancers in men and 90% of genital warts across genders.  

The HPV vaccine is provided free in Australian secondary schools to all children aged around 12–13 years under the National Immunisation Program. It is recommended that all children aged 12–13 years have the HPV vaccine and that two doses are required at least six months apart. Two doses of HPV vaccination remain free up to the age of 19 and can be administered via primary care or local council immunisation clinics; however, if the first dose is administered after the age of 15, three doses are recommended. 

Other medical issues don’t stop because of COVID-19. During what is already a difficult time, it is vitally important that people look after their health. While HPV might not seem like a priority now, COVID-19 should not prevent us from taking the best possible care of our children and protecting their future. 

If HPV vaccination has been missed (either first or second dose) children and their parents/guardians are being encouraged to contact their doctor or local council immunisation provider for further information on how to catch up on missed doses. Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging practitioners to support their messages and remind their patients on the importance of HPV vaccination. 

To find resources and information for health professionals visit www.hpvvaccine.org.au 

Longer form copy  

Subject line: GPs urged to help teenagers to ‘catch up’ on missed HPV vaccinations 

Cancer Council Victoria with the Department of Health have been working to ensure Victorian children, parents and schools are being reminded about the importance of routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and the long-term health benefits it brings. 

The HPV vaccine is provided free in Australian secondary schools to all children aged around 12–13 years under the National Immunisation Program. It is recommended that all children aged 12–13 years have the HPV vaccine and that two doses are required at least six months apart. Two doses of HPV vaccination remain free up to the age of 19 and can be administered via primary care or local council immunisation clinics; however, if the first dose is administered after the age of 15, three doses are recommended. 

However, the impacts of COVID-19 saw many children miss attendance at school over the past two years, consequently HPV vaccination rates dropped in Victoria during this time. Coupled with the ongoing impacts of quarantine due to the current high COVID-19 case numbers, Cancer Council Victoria anticipates that more eligible children will miss HPV vaccine doses this year, putting them at risk of developing HPV-related illnesses and cancers in the future.  

Primary care providers, including GPs, nurses and practice staff, have a key role in helping to identify teens who missed their two doses of HPV vaccination, and in providing catch up HPV vaccination. 

There is currently no treatment or cure for HPV. In most cases, the immune system clears HPV from the body naturally over time and has no long-lasting effects. However, there are many different HPV types and some high-risk HPV types can cause serious illness including cancer. 

Although cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer caused by HPV, all genders can be affected. Persistent HPV infection is also known to cause other cancers, including penile, anal, vulval, vaginal and mouth/throat. 

The HPV vaccine protects against nine types of HPV which cause around 90% of cervical cancers in women (and most other HPV-related cancers in women), 95% of all HPV-related cancers in men and 90% of genital warts across genders. 

HPV is passed on during sexual activity and most people have at least one type of HPV at some time in their lives. You can be infected with HPV from one sexual partner, the first time you are sexually active. Condoms offer some but not total protection from HPV, as they don’t cover all of the genital skin. 

It is important to remember that all sexually active people can catch HPV, therefore people of all genders and sexualities are recommended to have the HPV vaccine. 

If HPV vaccination has been missed (either first or second dose) children and their parents/guardians are being encouraged to contact their doctor or local council immunisation provider for further information on how to catch up on missed doses. Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging practitioners to support their messages and remind their patients on the importance of the HPV vaccination. 

To find resources and information for health professionals, visit hpvvaccine.org.au   

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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.

Females who have had the HPV vaccine still need regular Cervical Screening Tests.