Girls need virus shot in Noosa

21st April 2017 2:25 AM
BEST SHOT: The Coast is lagging behind in preventative immunisation. BEST SHOT: The Coast is lagging behind in immunisation for human papillomavirus. Contributed

NOOSA is part of a worrying health trend in which only 73% of 15-year-old girls on the Sunshine Coast are fully vaccinated against the human papillomavirus.

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report shows the percentage of girls, and for the first time, boys, aged 15 who have been fully immunised against the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said immunising girls and boys against HPV was crucial to help prevent a range of cancers, including cervical cancer.

"Across Queensland, the figures showed a significant improvement in the number of girls fully immunised against HPV, but some local communities are still lagging,” Ms McMillan said.

"On the Sunshine Coast, only 61% of boys aged 15 received the full course of Gardasil. The program is newer for boys, however, and we expect this rate to increase over time.”

In 2013 the Sunshine Coast hinterland was named as one of the worst areas in Australia for child immunisations by health authorities.

Ms McMillan said parents needed to ensure the number of eligible children receiving the full course of Gardasil continued to rise.

"Parents should check in with their child and ensure all three doses of the vaccine have been administered for best protection against HPV-related cancer and disease.”

The report provided vaccination rates for 80 small local areas in Australia, providing schools and health managers with detailed information about where improvement is needed.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.