Less than 20 percent of the 1.3 million young people invited for HPV vaccination have so far received the first vaccine. RIVM Wed reports That it will do more to reach out to the rest so that they are less at risk of various types of cancer. A RIVM spokesperson doesn’t want to talk about a setback. “We have not attached any specific purpose to it.”
Anyone born between 1996 and 2003 can get a free HPV vaccination this year. After that, an injection at a speed of 190 euros. Since two injections are required at least five months apart, young adults must receive their first injection no later than July to receive the second injection free as well.
This is why RIVM spreads the “don’t miss it” message among the target group. Vaccination buses will drive around at the beginning of June, temporary injection sites will be set up in places like train stations and advertisements will be displayed in schools, among other places. “The threshold for getting a shot should be as low as possible,” says a company spokesperson.
Since 2009, girls as young as 10 years old have been invited to get the HPV vaccine as standard, and since 2022 boys have been invited as well. By offering free vaccines this year, RIVM hopes to increase vaccination rates among young people.
Most people are infected with HPV at some point in their lives, which is spread through intimate contact. In many cases, the body gets rid of the virus, but sometimes it stays around longer and damages cells, which can cause cancer.
Every year, 1,500 Dutch people develop cancer from HPV, estimates the Netherlands Institute for Virology. The vaccine must prevent the spread of the virus, in order to reduce the number of people in whom it leads to cancer.
Read also Young people get a shot against cancer – ‘a little effort’ and ‘it can’t hurt’
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