Taranaki parents encouraged to give consent for Boostrix and HPV vaccinations

25 February 2020

Please complete and return your child’s immunisation consent form. That’s the message from Taranaki DHB’s Public Health nurses who will be visiting Year 7 and 8 schools throughout the region this month giving children consent forms for FREE Boostrix and human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisations.

Public Health nurse Rachel Court is asking all parents of Year 7 and 8 children to check their school bags for the consent forms, complete them and return to school.

“It’s important that each consent form is completed and returned so we know if Year 7 and 8 children are to receive their vaccination at school or through their doctor. We encourage all parents to get their children immunised so they are protected against serious diseases like measles, whooping cough and most cancers caused by HPV,” says Ms Court.

Year 7 children will be given a consent form offering the Boostrix vaccination which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). Year 8 children are offered the HPV vaccination which protects both males and females against nine strains of human papillomavirus responsible for cervical, mouth, throat, penile and anal cancers, and genital warts.

Taranaki DHB medical officer of health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, explains that the Boostrix vaccine is a booster injection and builds on immunity from previous vaccinations when children were younger. “Protection after the booster is expected to last at least 20 years against tetanus and five years against whooping cough.

“The HPV vaccine is given as two injections, spaced out over at least six months, to those aged 14 or under. Those beginning vaccination at age 15 or older will need three doses.”

In New Zealand approximately 160 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 50 women die from it each year. HPV immunisation has been available to girls to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer since 2008, but was extended to boys and young men from January 2017

Dr Jarman says “There is a lot of social media content regarding Boostrix and HPV which some parents may find confusing, so I urge parents with queries about the vaccine to discuss them with a qualified doctor or nurse, or contact the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 IMMUNE.

“It’s vital that parents have access to the best possible information to help them make the right decision for their children. Please complete and return your children’s consent form so we know your decision either way”.

 

Last updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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