The HPV vaccination programme is to be expanded, the Department of Health has announced.
An HPV infection can cause penile, anal, oral or throat cancer and those who take the vaccine receive a strong level of protection against such diseases.
Last year, the Government launched the Laura Brennan HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine Catch-Up Programme to offer the vaccine to all secondary students who were not previously eligible.
Now, the scheme is to be expanded to include women up to the age of 25 and men up to the age of 22.
“The HPV vaccine is proven to be safe and effective and it saves lives,” Chief Medical Officer Professor Breda Smyth said.
“I am urging all young people who did not previously avail of the vaccine in school to consider getting it.
“It’s a simple step that will increase protection against cervical and other types of cancer.”
The catch-up programme was named in memory of Laura Brennan - who campaigned for greater access to the vaccine prior to her death from cervical cancer in 2019.
Her parents, Bernie and Larry Brennan, urged everyone eligible to get their vaccine.
“As a family we know only too well the devastation that cervical cancer can cause,” they said.
“Laura was determined to increase uptake of the HPV vaccine to help protect people from various cancers and eliminate cervical cancer.
“The HPV vaccine is effective in preventing cancer and we encourage everyone who is eligible to take this opportunity to protect their health.”
Appointments to get the vaccine can be made on the HSE’s website.
Main image: A patient receives a vaccine. Picture by: Alamy.com