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It has been revealed that up to 100 cancer deaths each year are the result of infections covered by the HPV vaccine. 

 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause up to 420 cases of cancer a year, and up to 130 cancer deaths, according to the report from the National Cancer Registry.

 

Of these 130 deaths per year - 100 are preventable by vaccination. 

 

The report says that long-term infection with strains of HPV pose as a serious risk for many cancers of the cervix, penis and vagina, as well as head and neck cancer. 

 

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The incidence of HPV associated cancers in Ireland is growing at a rate of two percent a year. 

 

HPV is spread mainly through skin-to-skin contact during sex, with about 80 per cent of people getting infected at some point in their lives.

 

The study claims that effective use of the current vaccine, which protects against four strains of HPV, could prevent up to two-thirds of all cancers associated with HPV in Irish women.

 

It also says that half of all HPV associated cancers in men could be prevented if the vaccination were extended to boys.

 

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The uptake of the vaccine among teenage girls has fallen from 87 per cent to just 50 per cent in recent years, following a campaign run by the Regret group.

 

This campaign claimed that a number of girls had suffered adverse effects after receiving the jab in the first year of secondary school.

 

Professor Kerri Clough-Gorr, who is the Director of the National Cancer Registry, referred to the downturn in HPV vaccination rates due to “unconfirmed vaccine safety concerns” as “very concerning”.

 

“This needs to be addressed to help reduce the impact of these often-fatal cancers,” she said.

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