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Press Release, Wednesday, 16th August 2017

Irish Family Planning Association supports HPV vaccine

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has today (16.08.17) called on women and parents to prevent cervical cancer through a combination of cervical cancer screening and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

IFPA Medical Director, Dr Caitriona Henchion said: “A combination of HPV vaccination and regular cervical screening makes cervical cancer almost completely preventable. This combination provides the maximum protection against this disease, so it makes sense to protect girls now against something that could affect them in the future. Current evidence by the World Health Organisation (2015) strongly indicates that the HPV vaccine is safe and could provide up to a 70% reduction in cervical cancer and also prevent many more women having to endure the anxiety of colposcopy examination.”

Dr Henchion added: “However, as the HPV vaccine does not immunise against all types of HPV, vaccinated women should still attend regular cervical screening at the appropriate age, 25-60 years. Women with some medical conditions may be advised by their healthcare provider to start screening earlier or to continue longer.”

IFPA CEO, Niall Behan said: “Over 90 women die from cervical cancer each year in Ireland. For the first time in our lifetime, there is a potential to eradicate cervical cancer and we must not let misinformation about the HPV vaccine put the health of women and girls at risk.”


  • The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) is Ireland’s leading sexual health provider. The IFPA operates clinics in Dublin city centre and Tallaght, where it provides free cervical screening and other sexual and reproductive health services on a non-profit basis.
  • The IFPA is the Irish affiliate of the European Cervical Cancer Association and is registered with CervicalCheck. IFPA runs the annual national Pearl of Wisdom campaign to highlight the vital importance of regular cervical screening for women aged 25-60.
  • The IFPA is a member of the HPV Vaccination Alliance; a group of organisations from the healthcare, women’s and children’s sectors that have come together to sign a contract against HPV-related cancers. More information here.
  • World Health Organisation review of HPV vaccine; see GACVS Statement on Safety of HPV vaccines – 17th December 2015.