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70% girls born in 2006 get HPV vaccination

22 Oct 2019, 00:57 ( 1 Month ago) | updated: 22 Oct 2019, 09:40 ( 1 Month ago)

DF Report
Press Release Photo by THL.

Approximately 70% of the Finnish girls born in 2006 have had the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination, said a press release issued by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Monday quoting Finnish vaccination register sources.

However, the vaccination coverage varies between different municipalities.

HPV, or human papilloma virus, causes a number of different cancers and the best protection against contracting it is the HPV vaccination.

The HPV vaccination is part of the national vaccination programme and is given to girls in the fifth year of primary school. 

Among large Finnish cities, the highest vaccination coverage is found in Vantaa, where 75% of girls born in 2006 have had the HPV vaccination. The coverage is 74% in Helsinki, 73% in Espoo, and 70% in Tampere. Among large Finnish cities, the lowest vaccination coverage has for a long time been found in Oulu, where approximately 65% of girls in the age class have had the HPV vaccination.

“In Sweden, the HPV vaccination coverage for the whole country is 85%. It is difficult to understand why nearly one third of girls in our country do not want to have the vaccination. Research says the vaccine is safe and gives the best and most long-term protection against cancer, if given early enough. You should therefore not postpone having it,” said THL Chief Physician Tuija Leino.

There are several localities in Finland where nine out of 10 girls have had the HPV vaccination. These include Naantali, Vesilahti, Siilinjärvi, Inari, and Hanko.

More than 80% of girls of that age group are vaccinated in Kauniainen, Inkoo, and Kirkkonummi in western Uusimaa.

The municipalities of Loimaa, Somero and Valkeakoski also have more than 80% coverage.  In eastern Finland, the coverage of more than 80% is reached, for example, in Kuopio, Lapinlahti, and Sulkava.

The poorest vaccination coverage continues to be found on the Ostrobothnian coast. For example, in Raahe, Pori and Pietarsaari, less than one half of the girls born in 2006 have had the HPV vaccination. In the county of Pohjois-Savo, 83% of girls are given the HPV vaccination, while the proportion in Ostrobothnia is only 54%.

“The HPV vaccination is an effective way to protect against a number of different cancers and their precursors and it is meant for each and every girl,” Tuija Leino said.