The family of the late Laura Brennan say they could finally have closure and put their campaign to rest.
It follows the announcement by the Health Minister that all women under 25 will be offered the HPV vaccine for free.
In an unexpected announcement ahead of the weekend, the Health Minister confirmed that all women under the age of 25 will now be offered the HPV vaccine free of charge.
Minister Stephen Donnelly has also asked the HSE to launch a catch-up programme for secondary school students who missed out on the vaccine during the pandemic.
He’s paid tribute to patient advocate Laura Brennan, who died from cervical cancer in 2019 at the age of 26.
The Ennis woman’s campaign resulted in a significant boost in the upake of the vaccine, and following her death, her parents have continued to lobby, particularly to have the cost associated with the catch-up programme addressed.
Her mother Bernie says it was heartbreaking to hear from so many young women who were unable to afford to get the vaccine and she hopes this will make a big difference.
In 2021, uptake for the HPV vaccine increased to 78% for the first vaccine and 71.7% for the second dose and the Brennan family have expressed hope that with this latest announcement, that could jump to over 90% this year with the catch-up programme.
Laura’s father Larry Brennan says this could finally bring closure to their family, following a hard-fought campaign.
The move has been described as a fitting tribute to the memory and legacy of the phenomenal work of Laura.
Clare Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway, who’s his party’s Seanad spokesperson on Health, was among those campaigning for a change to the policy.
The Ennistymon-based Senator says it’s vital that the emphasis now shifts to ensuring a proper communication programme is rolled out in tandem with the vaccine.
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