Cervical cancer vaccination rates are missing targets

THE first official figures on the uptake of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine under the National Immunisation Program confirm many girls are failing to complete the three-dose course.

Figures released by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing show 83% of girls aged 12–13 years in 2007 had received their first dose of Gardasil by December 2009, but this fell to 80% for the second dose and 73% for the third dose.

A similar mild drop-off was seen in 14–15 and 16–17 year olds offered catch-up immunisation.

Cancer Council Australia spokesperson Kate Broun called for more up-to-date data to be