From next year, 12 and 13-year-old students will receive an improved version of the life-saving cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil 9.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement on Sunday.
“We’re making an announcement today of an important new step that will take the level of protection against cervical cancer up to an even higher level and that is with the introduction of Gardasil9,” Mr Turnbull said.
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The Prime Minister said the improved Gardasil vaccine will protect against additional strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and could potentially wipe out the virus completely.
“There’s the possibility of eliminating this virus completely through the vaccination,” he said.
Vaccine co-creator Professor Ian Frazer said the vaccine will now likely protect against all of the HPV infections that cause cervical cancer.
“The vaccine that we have at the moment protects against two of those 10, and those two together are responsible for about 75 per cent of the cancers,” he said.
“This new vaccine adds in further strains, which are responsible for most of the other 25 per cent.”
“So that by giving the vaccine that we now have it will be possible to protect against almost all cervical cancers.
Mr Frazer said that cervical cancer kills about a quarter of a million women worldwide every year.
The vaccine is offered to all Queensland students for free.