Minister for Health and Ageing
Tony Abbott MHR
2 April 2007
Start of cervical cancer vaccinations
The national program to vaccinate girls against cervical cancer begins today in South Australia,
with other states and territories to follow.
Girls at Mount Carmel College in Rosewater, Adelaide, will be among the first in Australia to start
their vaccination course under the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program
The girls will be immunised using Gardasil®, which was based on technology developed in
Australia by a team led by former Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer. Gardasil® is
delivered as a course of three injections over six months.
The Commonwealth Government is providing over $537 million for the National HPV
Vaccination Program. This includes almost $437 million over five years for the vaccine. The
Commonwealth Government also recently announced an additional $100 million over four years
to support state and territory governments in implementing the program, to establish a HPV
Register and to run an education campaign.
The free HPV vaccine is being provided through school-based programs for girls aged between 12
and 13 years on an ongoing basis. The Government is also funding a two-year catch-up program
through schools for girls aged between 13 and 18 years.
A two-year catch-up program for girls and young women aged up to and including 26 years of age
will be delivered through GPs and other community-based providers from July 2007.
Gardasil® prevents infection from four HPV types, two of which cause 70 per cent of cervical
cancers. Vaccinated women will still need to have regular Pap Smears to ensure that any cervical
abnormalities are detected early.
Australia has the second-lowest incidence of cervical cancer and the lowest mortality rate from
cervical cancer in the world, due to the National Cervical Screening Program. Every year
governments invest more than $100 million in the National