Uptake of HPV vaccine increasing for first time since controversy - (The Irish Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • According to provisional figures from Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE), the percentage of adolescent girls receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Cork and Kerry this year rose to 50 percent, from 45 percent last year, reported The Irish Times.

  • The marginal increase in uptake follows an intensive information campaign and catch-up vaccination opportunities by public health specialists, the news source said.

  • "This is good news, though it's far too early to say we've turned the corner," remarked Breda Corcoran, head of the HSE national immunisation office.

  • "Although this information is provisional, and we remain very concerned at the current rates, it does tell us that more parents would seem to be hearing the message that this vaccine is safe and effective," Corcoran said.

  • Controversy over the vaccine has seen uptake rates in Denmark slump to 15 percent, while in Japan the rate has gone from 70 percent to 0.7 percent, according to Corcoran.

  • In contrast, Scotland's vaccination rate has remained high, at over 85 percent, the news source said. Scottish officials told a HSE conference on Friday that as a result HPV infections have dropped 90 percent.

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