Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th January 2023.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Scotland has the highest uptake rates for the human papillomavirus vaccine across the four nations of the United Kingdom, but we want to go further and increase uptake in particular in the most deprived areas. Therefore, from 1 January this year, a simplified one-dose schedule was introduced for all eligible girls aged up to their 25th birthday. We anticipate that that approach will further increase uptake.

One-dose HPV vaccine uptake is currently 91.5 per cent for girls in secondary 4 and 88.4 per cent for girls in the most deprived areas. We have provided more than £400,000 to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to support its campaign work on screening benefits. My officials will also be happy to work with the trust, along with Public Health Scotland and health boards, to understand how we can maximise uptake rates in areas of deprivation.

The creation of a women’s health champion provides a further opportunity for such issues to be promoted and addressed. I am delighted to announce today the appointment of Professor Anna Glasier as Scotland’s first women’s health champion. Professor Glasier’s work will be key to driving improvement in women’s health and helping to address the inequalities that have persisted in that area for far too long.