Labour Rep Chris O’Dwyer has highlighted the drop in the number of students receiving the HPV vaccine during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Local Area Representative for Clondalkin-Rathcoole Chris O’Dwyer is backing the call for a catch-up scheme for the HPV vaccine, raising concerns over recent figures which suggest a drop of 30% in the uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine compared to last year.
“What’s even more worrying is that the HSE hasn’t provided any detail on how they plan to carry out a catch-up programme for first and second year students to get the vaccine.
“The scheme is currently paused in nearly all schools so we will need a plan to get it back up and running, and ensure students aren’t missed. The HSE needs to urgently draft a detailed plan to catch up on missed vaccinations,” said Mr O’Dwyer.
“We have worked so hard as a country to combat HPV vaccine hesitancy especially through the work of Laura Brennan who wanted her legacy to be the high uptake of the HPV vaccine.
“It’s not good enough for the HSE to be vague about this. A 30% drop is worrying and no detail as to when a catch up programme will begin,” he added.
Chris O’Dwyer is calling on the HSE and the Government to allow GPs and pharmacists to administer the vaccine free of charge to first and second year students.
“The fees that are there at the moment to get this vaccine privately are prohibitive for many families. Vaccines save lives and it’s never been more important to ensure that all who can receive theirs,” he concluded.