The HPV Immunisation Programme aims to protect young people from HPV infection and the risk of developing cervical cancer and a range of other HPV diseases later in life. Currently, around 150 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 50 women die from it each year in New Zealand.
Between 2008 and 2016, HPV immunisation was free for girls and young women up to their 20th birthday, including non-residents under the age of 16 and living in New Zealand for eight months or more. From 1 January 2017, HPV immunisation will be free for everyone, male and female, aged 9 to 26, including non-residents under the age of 18.
HPV immunisation is available through participating schools or from family doctors and local health centres.
Children who are in year 8 at school are offered the vaccine either through a school-based immunisation programme or through their family doctor if a school programme is not available.
The HPV vaccine protects against nine strains of human papillomavirus responsible for cervical
and some other cancers, and genital warts
. Protection is long-lasting. The HPV vaccine
is given as two injections, spaced out over at least six months, to those aged 14 or under. Those aged 15 or older will need three doses.
Find out more about HPV vaccination: