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31 March 2014

Protect your teen Ė donít let your Year 8 miss free vaccinations

WA Health is urging parents of Year 8 students to sign and return their vaccination consent forms to ensure their child does not miss out on the free program.

Western Australian Year 8 students are being offered booster doses of important childhood vaccines this year to ensure they are protected against infectious diseases into adulthood.

The consent forms were contained in information packs sent home with children in February.

Department of Health Communicable Disease Control Director Dr Paul Armstrong urged those parents who had not yet signed and returned the forms to do so.

"If you haven't seen the information pack yet it might be worth asking your child to have a look in their school bag for it. If it can't be found, get in touch with your school for a replacement," he said.

The Statewide vaccination program, which includes the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that defends against many cancers, as well as booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and chickenpox vaccines, is available free to every year 8 child whose parents have signed the appropriate consent form.

"One of the most common reasons that people do not have their children immunised is simply that they forget or miss the consent form in their child's bag," Dr Armstrong said.

"Booster doses of vaccines in Year 8 can help prevent adolescents from catching infectious diseases later in life, where the effects are often more severe."

Dr Armstrong said HPV vaccination was an important addition to the vaccination schedule, as it could prevent many cancers such as throat, mouth and cervical cancer

A video with more information about the school-based immunisations can be found in the Healthy Living section on the Healthy WA website at

Media contact: (08) 9222 4333

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