Free HPV vaccination to start in February

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On Wednesday, free HPV vaccination for 9 – to 20-year-olds will start in Austria. Previously, the offer was free only for children from nine to eleven years inclusive. The vaccination is effective against cervical, anal, and pharyngeal cancers.

Anal and throat cancers affect all genders. The HPV vaccine also works against penile cancer in men, cervical cancer and vaginal and vulvar cancer in women and was added to the free childhood vaccination program in 2014. Now the age limit is being expanded. Starting Wednesday, February 1, the vaccine will be available free of charge for 9- to 20-year-olds in Vienna, for example, at selected municipal vaccination centers and physicians’ offices. For instance, appointments can be booked online at the city’s vaccination service or by calling the 1450 health hotline.

Two partial vaccinations are administered, with at least a six-month interval between them. A subsequent reimbursement is not possible if one has already been carried out before February 1, 2023. If only the second partial vaccination takes place after February 1, it is free of charge. If the first partial vaccination takes place before the 21st birthday, the second is also free of charge after the deadline.

“The HPV vaccine is far too little known, even though it can offer such great protection against a serious cancer. It is fortunate that there is such a good vaccination against HPV and that is why I ask all young Viennese to take advantage of this free offer. I would especially like to urge boys and young men not to be unnecessarily vain when it comes to protecting themselves and their environment,” said Vienna’s City Councillor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ).

Vaccinations should ideally be given before the first sexual contact, as the protective effect is highest. In general, however, the HPV vaccine is recommended for older, sexually active people. Three partial vaccinations are required after the 21st birthday. According to the Austrian vaccination schedule, HPV vaccination is “strongly recommended for all individuals until the age of 30, and optional thereafter.”

For this group, however, it is often a matter of cost. The Austria-wide dispensing price in pharmacies is 215.50 euros per dose. The total cost is thus at least 646.50 euros, not including fees for the vaccination itself. The federal government, social insurance and the respective federal states pay for vaccination for the younger group.

  • source: krone.at/picture:
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