The HSE has confirmed that the uptake rate for the (Human papillomavirus) HPV vaccine is at 70%, as HSE vaccination teams return to secondary schools to administer the second dose to first year girls.
The figure is an increase of 20% in just over two years and means seven out of ten first year girls have received the first dose of the vaccine and are due the next dose.
Head of the HSE National Immunisation Office Dr Lucy Jessop said it was encouraging and important that Ireland achieved such an increase in a relatively short amount of time:
"It has been well articulated in recent months that eliminating cervical cancer is now an achievable goal, nationally and internationally.
"If we continue on this path and continue to increase our uptake rates, we can look forward to future generations living in a world where this cancer is eradicated.”
HPV advocate Laura Brennan said she was "thrilled people are listening – listening to the reality of what life with cervical cancer is really like and finding out for themselves that this vaccine is safe and effective and along with cervical screening".
Health Minister Simon Harris said: "Despite significant challenges including the spread of dangerous anti-vaccination myths, these figures show women are continuing to get vaccinated.
"As Laura has strongly articulated, vaccination saves lives. I want to commend the HSE, Laura and other strong voices for continuing to show such exemplary leadership."
Dr Jessop warned parents to seek trusted and accurate sources of information and the hpv.ie website.”