Maori and Pacific women have highest HPV vaccine uptake

Young Maori and Pacific Island women have the highest rates of up take of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

HPV viruses can lead to cervical cancer and genital warts.

Pacific Islands Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu said 70 percent of Pacific women born between 1992 and 1996 had started receiving the free HPV vaccine. That compares with 52 percent of all girls in that age group and 57 percent of Maori girls of that age.

Of Pacific girls born in 1997, 75 percent had started receiving the vaccine, 62 percent of Maori girls born in 1997 and 49 percent of the overall age group were receiving it.

Ms te Heuheu said it was a credit to the young women and their families and would be an inspiration to others.

"Pacific and Maori women have been twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as other women and their risk of dying from the illness is more than twice that for other ethnicities.

"Credit must go to all those in the community who have contributed to the programme delivery."




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