From February 2023, the ACT program for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will change to a single dose and eligibility for the catch-up program will be extended to 25 years of age under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Why has the HPV dosing schedule changed?
The World Health Organisation made this recommendation because evidence gathered over past years shows a single dose provides similar protection to 2 or 3 doses. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have reviewed the evidence and support this change.
If my child has already received one dose of HPV vaccine, will they be considered fully vaccinated?
Most young people who have already received one dose of HPV vaccine are now considered fully vaccinated under this program change and will not need any further doses.
Is there a catch-up program for people that haven’t received a HPV vaccine?
The catch-up program for adolescents who missed vaccination at school has also been extended to include young people up to and including 25 years of age (up from 19 years of age). This will allow greater access and equity. Catch-up should occur as soon as possible. However, people remain eligible to catch-up until they turn 26.
If vaccination is provided through a GP, the vaccine will be free, but you may be charged a consultation fee.
Does changing to one dose provide less protection than two doses?
This program change is based on a large volume of evidence that has emerged in recent years. The Government’s expert advisory group ATAGI has reviewed international evidence and determined that a single dose gives comparable protection as two doses.
What if my child is immunocompromised?
There is no change to the dosing schedule for people who are immunocompromised. They should still receive the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine which are all covered under the NIP.
Given the routine scheduling of school-based immunisation programs, immunocompromised individuals may be referred to their treating GP or primary care provider to ensure the completion of all three doses of Gardasil®9 vaccine. Refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook for information on HPV vaccination for people who are immunocompromised.