Free HPV vaccine: Age should be increased to 30

In Austria, the free HPV vaccine will now be extended until the age of 30, instead of being valid until the age of 21.

The free vaccination against human papillomaviruses (HPV), which has been part of the public vaccination program of the federal government, federal states and social insurance providers since 1 February 2023, will now be extended until the age of 30. 21 years old. Minister of Health Johannes Rauch (Greens), Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) and ÖGK vice president Andreas Huss announced this at a press conference in front of the University of Vienna on Monday.

Rauch: “A great job is being done”

This location was chosen because the Austrian Student Union announced “HPV vaccine now!” It was a vaccination campaign carried out there together with the educational association upon the invitation of the health department of the city of Vienna. and the city of Vienna on the occasion of International HPV Day. Referring to the queue in front of the vaccination bus, Rauch said, “A great job is being done” and reported the success of the HPV vaccine in Scotland, where it was announced at the beginning of 2024 that “no vaccinated woman will be vaccinated”. A case of cervical cancer occurred as part of the vaccination program launched in 2008. The message is clear: HPV vaccine prevents the occurrence of this type of cancer. Australia has also managed to become HPV-free.

Demand for HPV vaccine is high

Demand for the vaccine was found to be high in Austria, and raising the age for free vaccination to 21 allowed the number of vaccinations to double. Rauch continued: “But in Austria, 400 to 500 women get cervical cancer every year and 130 to 180 die from it.” Men are also affected by this, “and I know from my own experience that prevention is better than cure, because I had cancer myself,” the minister said.

Health should not be a matter of income, just as protection with the HPV vaccine should not be a problem – after all, it costs 500 euros and is not affordable, especially for low-income people, the aim now is to popularize HPV vaccination. Two hours ago, in a video conference, a basic agreement was reached between the federal states, the federal government and social security to extend the free HPV vaccination until the 30th birthday.

Free HPV vaccine age should be increased

A corresponding declaration of intent is available by the end of 2025; technical details still need to be clarified. Decisions on the expansion of the public vaccination program by the federal, state and social security systems are expected to be made in April. As part of the health reform, an additional 90 million euros per year is being allocated for the public vaccination programme.

Municipal Health Council Member Peter Hacker also congratulated the vaccination campaign in the first place and reminded that Vienna regional health authorities were merged. Very intense financial equalization negotiations were held and a health program was prepared, and it was decided to focus on vaccines within the scope of this program. “I’m very happy and satisfied,” he said, adding that there is no doubt about the need for the HPV vaccine, but “it’s sad that the vaccination rate is so bad.” Including the age group up to 30 years will ensure a large influx; 50,000 vaccinations have been carried out here in the last two years. But Hacker said there was still room for improvement, citing the large number of people who showed up for the vaccination bus at the university.

He believes that vaccination needs to become a natural matter for the public, and for this it must be included in the “normal routines” of the healthcare system. Today’s action is proof of what is possible.

“As with any vaccine offer, it is important that the offer is well organized and the blocking threshold is as low as possible,” said Huss, Deputy Chairman of the ÖGK. “High vaccination rates can be achieved with school vaccinations here, as all social classes can be easily reached. We must ensure that this environment is a particular focus.

Rihab Toumi, President of the Federal Youth Council, said that despite vaccination recommendations, one million young people have been deprived of the free HPV vaccine so far. “We hope that the free HPV vaccine offer reaches as many young people as possible and that an evaluation of vaccination rates will be made next year. Currently, the vaccination rate in the 21-30 age group is only five percent, this number is urgently needed.” It will be increased. Healthcare is allowed Don’t fail because of costs,” Toumi added.

Disoski and Schallmeier: “Milestone in the fight against cancer”

Club vice president and Green Party women’s spokesperson Meri Disoski and Green Party health spokesperson Ralph Schallmeiner describe the rollout of free HPV vaccination for everyone by the 30th birthday, announced today by Health Minister Rauch, as a real development. “A turning point in the fight against cancer.” The two said, “Health “It shouldn’t be a matter of money,” he says.

According to information from the Ministry of Health, human papillomaviruses are ubiquitous: at least 80 percent of all women and men will be infected with HPV during their lifetime. Across the EU, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women aged 15 to 44; Scientific studies show that human papillomaviruses (HPV) are responsible for 90 percent of cases.

(APA/Red)

Source: Vienna

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