Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a highly contagious virus known to cause cervical cancer. It is estimated that four out of five people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives.
The report from the National Health Performance Authority shows the percentages of 15-year-old girls across 31 Primary Health Network areas who received all three doses of the HPV vaccine and were considered fully immunised in 2013.
As well as reporting for 31 PHNs, data are also presented for 88 smaller areas of geography, known as Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s).
The report finds:
- Almost three-quarters of girls (72%, or 99,011) were fully immunised against HPV in 2013, out of the 137,460 girls estimated to be aged 15 in that year. The remaining 38,449 girls were not fully immunised
- The five PHN areas with the highest percentages of girls fully immunised against HPV had coverage rates between 89% and 78%, while the six PHN areas with the lowest percentages had coverage rates between 66% and 56%
- Across 88 local areas, the five local areas with the highest percentages of girls fully immunised against HPV had coverage rates between 94% and 84%, while the five local areas with the lowest percentages had coverage rates between 60% and 56%.
Across Australia almost 30% (38,500) of the 137,460 girls estimated to be aged 15 in 2013 were not fully immunised against HPV. In some areas, coverage rates were as low as 56%.