Thousands of Australian high school students will have access to a new version of the vaccine that protects against several deadly cancers, including almost all cervical cancers.
The new and improved Gardisil 9 vaccine, which is said to prevent almost 90 per cent of cervical cancers, will be rolled out across Australian high schools in 2018, the federal government announced on Sunday.
The government said the new Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine would be offered through school based immunisation programs to all 12 to 13 year old boys and girls in years 7 or 8.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the new jab was an "extraordinary development".
"Gardasil nine ... is a new evolution of the Gardasil vaccine which will protect against additional strains of the Human Papillomavirus, making it even more effective, providing even more protection for young Australians," Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.
"There is the possibility of eliminating this virus completely through vaccination. It is a great story about the importance of vaccination (and) the importance of our immunisation programs."
The new vaccine would help protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV, the government said.
For boys and men ages 9 to 26, the vaccine would protect against anal cancer and genital warts caused by those same HPV types.
Australia was the first country to introduce a free national HPV program, starting with girls in 2007, followed by boys in 2013.Suggest a correction