In June 2017, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) commenced work on a health technology assessment (HTA) in relation to proposed changes to the national human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme. HIQA agreed to undertake the HTA following a formal request from the Department of Health for a HTA.
What the public consultation is about?
This HTA is being carried out to assess the impact of changing from a policy of a girls-only school-based HPV immunisation programme to a policy of offering the HPV vaccine to both girls and boys (gender-neutral immunisation). The effect of different HPV vaccine uptake rates among girls on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of extending the immunisation schedule to include boys will also be assessed.
Based on this HTA, the Minister for Health will decide whether there should be a change in the national immunisation programme to extend the current programme, which offers HPV vaccination to all girls in their first year of second-level education (12 to 13 year olds), to a programme that also offers vaccination to boys. In consultation with the Department of Health, HIQA’s Evaluation Team developed questions in relation to the critical information required to inform such a decision.