Time is running out for those who have not yet had the HPV vaccine, but do want to get it. Young adults (under 27 years old) have until 1 June 2024 to complete their series of two doses free of charge. However, they must have had the first dose of the HPV vaccine in 2023, as there should be a minimum of five months between the first and second dose. If you have had your first dose, please do not delay getting your second one.

Do not delay your second dose

After getting your first dose, the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) will send you a reminder to schedule the second dose after about six months. Data from RIVM and the GGD shows that young men in particular tend to delay getting their second dose. However, the prevailing recommendation is not to wait too long. This is mainly because, as of 2024, the vaccine will be offered at fewer locations across the country and you will no longer be able to make an appointment online. Instead, you will need to contact your local GGD to find out where you can get your second dose.

Five-month interval

To ensure long-lasting protection against HPV, you need to get two doses. Furthermore, there must be a gap of 150 days (five months) between the two doses. Therefore, you can only get the second dose if it has been at least five months since your first. After 1 June 2024, the HPV vaccine will no longer be offered to young adults free of charge. If you get your first dose after 2023, you will only be able to get the second dose after 1 June 2024, meaning you will have to cover the cost yourself. This will amount to approximately €175 per injection.

HPV catch-up campaign turnout

The national turnout was at 22% in mid-October, but this percentage is rising steadily. There are notable differences in turnout by region. For example, turnout has been particularly high in student cities like Leiden, Utrecht and Delft. The turnout among men has been higher than among women, but that was to be expected, as the opportunity for men to get vaccinated was introduced only recently, while many women could get the HPV vaccine as teenagers. On the other hand, women are completing the series more quickly than men are. Particularly young men seems to have a tendency to delay. This aligns with earlier research from this year, which revealed that many people had not yet had the vaccine. They still intended to do so, but had not yet found the time for various reasons.

Therefore, starting in May, the GGDs made significant efforts to offer the vaccine without the need for an appointment. They offered the HPV vaccine in locations frequently visited by young adults, such as shopping streets, educational institutions and busy public transport hubs, and then promoted this using the national ‘Do Not Miss Out’ campaign. This November, young adults will once again be reminded of their last chance to get fully vaccinated against HPV for free through a social media campaign and a partnership with the Broers podcast that is popular among the target audience.

Why an HPV catch-up campaign?

In the Netherlands, more than 1,600 people a year develop cancer following an HPV infection. The vaccine significantly reduces the risk of an HPV infection for both you and your intimate contacts, and it protects against six kinds of cancer. On the advice of the Health Council of the Netherlands, everyone up to the age of 26 who had not yet been vaccinated against HPV received an invitation to do so. This included a total of over 1.3 million people born from 1996 until 2003 – around 900,000 men and 400,000 women. This opportunity was new for men. Many women in this age group did not get the vaccine as teenagers for various reasons, such as the vaccine being relatively new at the time or their parents choosing not to have their daughters vaccinated. However, many of these women do want the vaccine now. That is why they were given another chance to get vaccinated for free in 2023.

Making an appointment

You can make an appointment to get the HPV vaccine online at www.hpvafspraak.nl or by phone on 0800–1608. Please note that there may be more options available if you make your appointment by phone.