Almost 200 girls in the East Riding haven’t had vaccine for cancer-causing HPV

Girls in England are offered free HPV jabs at school during Years 8 and 9. Photo: PA Images
Girls in England are offered free HPV jabs at school during Years 8 and 9. Photo: PA Images

Almost 200 girls in the East Riding Of Yorkshire were not fully vaccinated against the potentially cancer-causing HPV virus last year, new figures show.

Girls in England are offered free HPV jabs at school during Years 8 and 9, when they are aged between 12 and 14.

Public Health England figures show 89.9% of girls in the East Riding Of Yorkshire were given the recommended two doses of the vaccine by the end of Year 9 in 2018-19.

This was one of the highest coverage rates in England – but 183 girls were still left unprotected.

The HPV vaccination protects against the human papilloma virus, which is responsible for more than 99% of cervical cancer cases as well as some other rarer cancers.

According to the NHS, the vaccine works best when girls receive it before they become sexually active.

HPV can be spread through any kind of skin-to-skin contact, as well as through sexual intercourse.

The minimum vaccination target set by PHE for local areas is 80%, but local teams are encouraged to aim for 90% or above.

Robert Music, chief executive of cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust, said it was positive that uptake remained high, but that there was much more work to do to close the gap between different parts of England.

Mr Music said: “The HPV jab is an extremely effective vaccine that will prevent many from going through a cervical cancer diagnosis, which will ultimately save lives.”

Dr Vanessa Saliba, from Public Health England, said: “The UK HPV immunisation programme is one of the most successful around the world, continuing to achieve high coverage with millions of doses of vaccine given to girls in the UK since its launch in 2008.

“We encourage parents of all eligible girls to ensure they take up the vaccine when it is offered.”