October 09, 2012
Good uptake for girls’ immunisation campaign
The Health Ministry is reporting its campaign to immunise girls against the virus linked to cervical cancer has achieved a good uptake by Maori and Pacific girls, but was less successful among other girls.
The campaign involved free shots of the Gardasil vaccine, with the aim being to reach all girls at year 8, or by 12years old.
Maori and Pacific girls born in 1997 were especially targeted by the initial campaign because it was considered that there was a likelihood they would miss out.
An unintended consequence of this was many Pakeha parents perceived the vaccine was not for their daughters.
Many also opted to hold off until their daughters were in their late teens, even though those girls who have the greatest potential to benefit from the vaccine, are those who are least likely to have had contact with the virus.