All women under the age of 25 will now be able to receive the HPV vaccine free-of-charge, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Fine Gael Senator and Party spokesperson for Health in the Seanad, Martin Conway has campaigned for the last two years for the elimination of all charges associated with the HPV vaccine, particularly the very high cost of availing of a catch-up vaccine.
“The decision by government to remove all cost barriers to accessing the HPV vaccine is very welcome news,” said Senator Conway.
“The HPV vaccine saves lives and the more women who are vaccinated the more lives that will be saved. The cost of receiving the HPV vaccine for women who missed out on it when offered at school was anywhere between €400 – €600 which is very expensive and has been a barrier preventing women from getting vaccinated.
“Since starting my campaign to have all costs removed, I have engaged with many teenage women and their families who wanted to get the HPV vaccine but simply couldn’t afford it. Now they will be able to get their vaccine.
“The late Laura Brennan dedicated the latter period of her short life encouraging young women and their families to get the HPV vaccine. Her parents have continued this campaign. I know that they were very concerned about the cost associated with the catch-up programme and considered it a major barrier to achieving the goal of full vaccination. I spoke to Larry Brennan, Laura’s dad, last night and the Brennan family welcome this development.
“The success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme here in Ireland, where over 95% of the population were vaccinated – among the highest in the world – demonstrated that vaccine hesitancy is very low. There is an acceptance in Ireland that vaccines work, and the pandemic helped solidify this.
“Now that the HPV vaccine is free, we should be ambitious in our targets in getting every woman in this country under 25 vaccinated. I would encourage any young woman who has not received the HPV vaccine to now do so,” concluded Senator Conway.