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Most of youths in Finland get HPV vaccine

Published : 30 Nov 2022, 01:33

  DF Report

Photo: THL.

About 80 percent of girls and 70 percent of boys starting upper comprehensive school have been vaccinated for HPV, said the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in a press release on Tuesdaty.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes several different kinds of cancers and the best way to protect against infection is the HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccination coverage for girls born in 2009 who have started seventh grade of comprehensive school is 79 percent while coverage for boys the same age is about 71 percent.

In Finland girls have been getting HPV vaccinations for free since autumn 2013 as part of the national vaccination programme. This was extended to boys in autumn 2020 which at least partly explains the differences in vaccine coverage for boys and girls.

The HPV vaccine series comprises two doses. These are usually offered in the fifth and sixth grades, but it is also possible to get the vaccines at grades 7-9 as well.

The coronavirus situation may have affected the implementation of the vaccinations. For this reason, the HPV vaccination series can be started through the end of the spring term of 2023 also for those underage young people who had not been vaccinated while in comprehensive school.

“Although COVID-19 led to the extension of the vaccination time, the reasons why there are gaps in a young person's HPV coverage is not relevant. The vaccination series can also be started if it did not begin earlier for some other reason”, said Medical Specialist Anniina Virkku.