Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates in 2014–15 presents statistics about girls and boys aged 15 at 30 June 2015 who were fully immunised against the human papillomavirus (HPV). Results are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas that cover Australia and for more than 80 local areas called Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s), as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This technical note summarises methods used to calculate results presented in Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates in 2014–15.
The National HPV Vaccination Program Register
Data in Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates in 2014–15 were sourced from the National HPV Vaccination Program Register (HPV Register), which is held by the Victorian Cytology Service.
The HPV Register records information about HPV vaccine doses administered under the National HPV Vaccination Program in Australia.1 The HPV Register aims to:
- monitor the uptake of HPV vaccinations provided by the National HPV Vaccination Program
- support the implementation of the program by providing information to vaccine recipients and providers
- facilitate the evaluation of the program’s effect on HPV-related cancers and disease.1
The Australian Government introduced the school-based National HPV Vaccination Program in 2007 for adolescent girls, and extended it to include boys in January 2013.2 The HPV vaccination program includes three doses of the vaccine, usually administered over a period of six months.
Measure of ‘fully immunised’ used in this report
The data reported are for girls and boys aged 15 who had received three doses of HPV vaccine by 30 June 2015 (as at 4 August 2016). HPV immunisation status is assessed at age 15 to allow for completion of the immunisation schedule by all eligible recipients. Reporting by this age group accommodates the varying ages of vaccination around Australia (usually in the first year of high school, around ages 12–13).
The ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for females and males aged 13 at 30 June 2013 was used for the denominator, as this reflects the eligible population at the time most vaccinations were administered.
Immunisation rates were mapped to the area in which people lived rather than the area where services were provided, using postcode information provided to the HPV Register at the time of their final vaccination.
The immunisation rates presented here are not comparable with those produced by the HPV Register due to methodological differences. The HPV Register reports current coverage for each cohort at the date of data extraction. Therefore, the number fully immunised may vary in reports prepared by the HPV Register. A further difference is the HPV Register’s use of ABS ERP at age 15, which differs to the method used here.
1. Gertig DM, Brotherton JML, Saville M 2011. Measuring human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage and role of the National HPV Vaccination Program Register, Australia. Sex Health. 8(2):171–8. doi: 10.1071/SH10001
2. Brotherton JML, Murray SL, Hall MA, Andrewartha LK, Banks CA, Meijer D et al. 2013. Human papillomavirus vaccine coverage among female Australian adolescents: success of the school-based approach. Medical Journal of Australia. 199(9):614–7. doi: 10.5694/mja13.10272