Children and young adults in the Isle of Man who are eligible to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination will now receive one dose rather than the previous two-dose schedule.
This decision was taken by the Isle of Man Immunisation Committee*, and follows a recent recommendation made by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) based on the results of several independent research studies. Both organisations agree that children and young people who have received a single dose before 25 years of age are considered fully vaccinated.
However, there may be some exceptions to this where further doses may be clinically required, for example, for young people with a weakened immune system. In this case, this will be discussed with children, their carers and young adults as part of their vaccination regime.
HPV is a common virus that is primarily spread through sexual contact. Infection can cause a number of potential complications including cancers and other serious conditions. The HPV vaccine is offered each year to all pupils in school Year 8 in the Isle of Man to protect against HPV infection and reduce the risk of cancer. Young people are eligible for the vaccination until their 25th birthday.
Julie Price, Service Lead for the 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service, commented:
'We are moving to a one-dose programme on the Island as the evidence shows that young people who have already had their first dose are now fully protected and will no longer require a second dose unless they are clinically vulnerable and identified as requiring an additional dose. This means that the planned school-based second dose HPV vaccination sessions arranged for May and June 2023 will now be cancelled.'
If you have completed a consent form for your child and they have not received a HPV vaccination in this current academic year, we will be sending letters out in June 2023 to arrange an appointment for them.
Parents and young people who have questions relating to these changes should contact the Manx Care Advice and Liaison Service (MCALS) on +44 1624 642642 or email@example.com in the first instance.
For more information about the HPV vaccination, visit gov.im/hpv.
*This decision was taken by the Isle of Man Immunisation Committee, which includes representation from the Isle of Man Public Health Directorate, and has been further approved by the DHSC. The JCVI statement on a one-dose schedule for HPV vaccination published on 5 August 2022 is available on gov.uk.