HPV immunisation needs improvement – Govt

  • 18/09/2015
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman (Taylor Sincock/3 News)
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman (Taylor Sincock/3 News)

The Health Minister is working on ways to boost immunisation against the cervical cancer causing human papilloma virus (HPV).

Currently 61 percent of girls who turned 12 last year are now fully immunised, but the Government and DHBs want to increase that to 75 percent by the end of 2017.

"That is going to make a big different in the long run, in terms of the incidence of cervical cancer," Dr Jonathan Coleman says.

Dr Coleman wants to make sure girls who don't have the vaccine at school are being offered it through their family doctor.

Around 50 women die of cervical cancer in New Zealand each year, and he says 70 percent of cervical cancers are caused by the HPV virus.

The death rate from cervical cancer has dropped 22 percent over the last 10 years but Dr Coleman says more can be done.