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HPV vaccine coverage is increasing in Australia

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In 2016, the tenth year of quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine delivery in Australia by the national immunisation program, it is encouraging to report recent increases in HPV vaccine coverage recorded by the National HPV Vaccination Program Register (NHVPR). The program commenced in April 2007, with a catch-up program for all females aged 12–26 years until the end of 2009, and routine school vaccination at age 12–13 thereafter. In 2013, routine immunisation of boys (12–13 years) against HPV commenced, with a 2-year catch-up program for boys up to 15 years old. Quadrivalent HPV vaccine is routinely given at school to both girls and boys aged 12–13 years, with a three-dose schedule. The NHVPR maintains records of HPV vaccinations, and there is almost complete notification of school doses. Coverage is routinely reported at age 15, as recommended by the World Health Organization and to facilitate consistency in national reporting (the age of vaccination and course completion varies slightly between states and territories). The NHVPR uses Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated resident population data as the denominator for calculating coverage. Notification of doses delivered in general practice is not compulsory, resulting in some undernotification.1

As shown in the Box, HPV vaccine coverage in girls by age 15 had in 2015 reached 86%, 83% and 78% for…