PARENTS of secondary school students are urged to do their part in vaccinating their children as part of the free school immunisation program.
Free vaccines for the human papillomavirus are offered to eligible children whose parents sign and return consent forms.
Year 7 students are encouraged to have three doses of the vaccine over a six-month period, while boys in year 9 are also eligible for the HPV vaccine as part of a catch-up program.
The vaccine greatly reduces the risk of two HPV types which cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers in women and 90 per cent of HPV-related cancers in men. It also protects against two HPV types which cause genital warts.
Year 7 students will also be eligible and recommended to have a single dose of the chickenpox vaccine, while students in year 10 will be offered the single-dose vaccine, diphtheria/tetanus/whooping cough (Pertussis).
Warrnambool City immunisation co-ordinator Alison Elliott stressed the importance of parents completing and returning their children’s immunisation consent card in order to receive the important vaccines.
“If the consent card is not signed and returned to the school prior to us attending, the child will miss out on the vaccine,” she said.
“The government only provides these vaccines free to the students enrolled in years 7, 9 (boys only) and 10.
“If parents don’t take up this opportunity and decide they want to have them vaccinated at a later date, they will be required to pay for the vaccines.
“Each school has a different timetable for delivering the vaccine, so it’s important that parents know when their child is due to be immunised.
“If students miss a vaccine, we would encourage them to contact council for information on catch-up options.
“Alternatively, they can contact their doctor.”