Indigenous Ambassadors for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program Jacinta Price and Troy Cassar Daley are urging young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make sure they are fully covered by getting the full three doses of the HPV vaccination.
The second dose of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations is being rolled out in schools across Australia from April, with the third and final dose available later this year.
HPV is a common virus that affects men and women. It can cause the development of HPV-related cancers and disease in both males and females. The HPV vaccine can help protect young people from developing these cancers and disease later in life.
Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females aged between 12 and 13 years can take part in a free national, vaccination program to protect against HPV, and in 2014 there is also a catch up program for young men aged 14-15 years.
For Alice Springs based singer/songwriter Jacinta Price getting two of her sons vaccinated is an important way to prevent cancers and disease later in life.
“I filled out the consent forms. We will be going ahead with the full HPV vaccination program this year,” she says. “It’s important for young Indigenous people to get the full three doses of the HPV vaccine for full protection.”
For multi ARIA, Deadly Award and Golden Guitar winner Troy Cassar Daley, getting the full course of the HPV vaccination program means full protection from preventable HPV related cancers and disease.
“We have to understand that the vaccine helps protect the future health of our kids and, as a parent, you want your kids to have that protection,” he says.
If young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females have missed the first dose of the HPV vaccination, they can still catch up. Parents are advised to talk to the school, their GP or health clinic if catch up vaccinations are needed.
Parents and guardians can find more information on the HPV vaccination website where they can also find specific resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including information in 20 Indigenous languages. They can also freecall 1800 671 811 (charges may apply for calls from mobiles).
The National HPV Vaccination Program is a free school-based program to protect young men and women against HPV-related cancers and disease. Community health clinics will deliver vaccinations in some remote areas. If a child’s education is not school-based (such as for those undertaking online studies), parents and guardians can contact the local health department for advice on where to get the vaccination.