Four in five eligible girls receive HPV vaccinations

Most schoolgirls eligible for HPV vaccination in England are receiving all three doses of the vaccine, DoH data show.

A report reveals 80.1 per cent of 12- to 13-year-olds received three doses of Cervarix in the year after routine HPV jabs began in September 2008.

The report said uptake was 'high', despite falling short of the 89.4 per cent rate recorded in Scotland.

Most PCTs chose to deliver jabs at schools, but a handful did so through GP practices.

While 79 per cent of girls vaccinated in schools received all three vaccines, this figure dropped to just 62 per cent of those covered by GP-based programmes.

The findings appear to support Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice that the jabs should be given in schools.

But a GP-led campaign in Derbyshire County PCT achieved 83 per cent uptake of all three jabs.

Linda Syson-Nibbs, the county's vaccination programme lead, said the PCT was 'delighted'.

'GPs have access to patients' records, which means they can call and recall anyone who does not turn up for their vaccine, so there are no missed opportunities.'

Birmingham East and North PCT has decided to switch to schools after beginning with a GP-led campaign. The switch comes after a consultation found GPs did not want to be involved.

RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field said: 'The efficiency of doing HPV vaccines through schools is shown by the high uptake levels.'

However, he added that GPs should provide back-up to school-based programmes to maximise uptake.

The vaccination programme aims to prevent 400 cervical cancer deaths a year.

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