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Should the HPV vaccine be compulsory?

The Government has launched the second phase of its HPV vaccine information campaign today to inform and encourage schoolgirls and their parents to avail of the free HPV vaccine scheme.

Since the launch of the first phase of that campaign – which aimed to inform parents and girls about how the vaccine works, what it does, and the associated risks – the uptake rate of the vaccine has increased from 51% in 2016 and 2017, to 62%.

At a press launch today, Minister for Health Simon Harris said that it was important “that we don’t pat ourselves on the back and say we’ve made progress – we need to acknowledge that progress and keep going”.

The HSE’s campaign video will feature 25-year-old Laura from Co Clare, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was 24. Although she went through treatment for her condition, and was predicted to have a good chance of recovering, the cancer spread to her lymph nodes.

This meant that there was no treatment for her condition, other than palliative chemotherapy that would prolong Laura’s life.

Speaking at the press launch today, Laura said that she didn’t get involved in the campaign for sympathy.

She said “My dad used to say, no parent should outlive their child.

There is a vaccine there that saves lives – please think about it”

If received before a person is sexually active, the vaccine can prevent the development of HPV which can cause a number of cancers. It’s been recommended that the free vaccine programme also be rolled out to boys in Ireland once the update rate for girls is high enough.

Professor Grainne Flannelly, who’s a gynaecologist with the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, said that cervical cancer is a disease that affects “young women and young mothers”, and that there was a significant problem with HPV in Ireland.

Because of the spread of rumours and anecdotes about the vaccine on social media, the vaccine uptake rate plummeted dramatically, leading to the HSE to launch a campaign to inform students and parents about the benefits of the vaccine.

Due to similar fears about the vaccine in other countries, multiple tests on the stories and side effects reported by parents have been carried out making it one of the most-checked vaccines, and as a consequence, one of the safest in the world.

Today I want to know if you think all teenagers should be getting the vaccine, one there is no medical reason for them not to.

Although the uptake of the vaccine has increased, there is still a number of people and groups who are opposed to it. They claim their children have had adverse affects to the vaccine, even though the claims have been investigated and found to not be caused by the vaccine.

Should this vaccine be compulsory considering it is a safe vaccine that can save lives?

Or do you think it would be wrong to make it compulsory?

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to make things compulsory but unfortunately we have certain people spreading misinformation resulting in people not allowing their daughters get the vaccine.

I want to know what you think – So should the HPV vaccine be compulsory?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm 

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