This report shows the percentage of girls, and for the first time, boys, aged 15 who were fully immunised against the human papillomavirus in 2014–15. Results are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas that cover Australia and for more than 80 smaller local areas.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection. It is estimated that four out of five people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives.1 Although often asymptomatic, HPV infection can cause a wide range of cancers, including cervical cancer, and other conditions such as genital warts.
The Australian Government introduced the school-based National HPV Vaccination Program in 2007 for adolescent girls to protect against cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases. In January 2013, the program was extended to include boys. The National HPV Vaccination Program includes three doses of the vaccine, usually administered over six months.2 ‘Fully immunised’ boys and girls aged 15 are those who received all three doses of the HPV vaccine by 30 June 2015.
Nationally in 2014–15, 78.6% of girls aged 15 were fully immunised against HPV, an increase from 72.0% in 2012–13 and 74.3% in 2013–14. Across PHN areas in 2014–15, the percentage of girls fully immunised against HPV ranged from 86.3% (Murrumbidgee, NSW) to 67.2% (Tasmania). Most areas reported significant increases in HPV immunisation rates for girls over time.
For boys aged 15 in 2014–15, 67.3% were fully immunised against HPV nationally. Across PHN areas, percentages ranged from 77.8% (Gippsland, Vic) to 56.5% (Northern Territory).
Figure 1: Percentage of girls fully immunised, by local area (SA4) and year
The following image shows the increase in the national rate of percentage of girls fully immunised against HPV, by local area (SA4) over the year periods 2012–13, 2013–14 and 2014–15.
Notes: Each blue circle represents the percentage fully immunised in a local area (SA4), excluding local areas that are marked as interpret with caution.
Source: National HPV Vaccination Program Register.
What is a Primary Health Network?
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are organisations that connect health services over local geographic areas. There are 31 PHNs in Australia. See What is a Primary Health Network for more information.
1. Doorbar J, Quint W, Banks L, Bravo IG, Stoler M, Broker TR et al. 2012. The biology and life-cycle of human papillomaviruses. Vaccine 30:F55–70.
2. Department of Health 2015. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition (updated June 2015). Canberra: Department of Health.