LAURA Brennan’s name will always be synonymous with the HPV vaccine, which she tirelessly campaigned for before dying from cervical cancer in 2019 at the age of 26.
Four years after her death, the Brennan family continue her work by campaigning to create more awareness of the vaccine’s benefits.
“After Laura died, we carried on her advocacy as best we could. We heard from so many families and young people who were touched by Laura’s story and regretted not getting the HPV vaccine when it was offered to them. So, the Laura Brennan HPV vaccine catch-up programme was developed in response to that and we’re so proud that her influence lives on, still giving people an opportunity that she didn’t have.”
Bernie Brennan is married to Larry and mother to Colin, Fergal, Kevin and the late Laura.
With cervical screening and HPV vaccination, Ireland is in a really good position to make cervical cancer a rare disease. The Laura Brennan HPV vaccination catch-up programme is giving eligible people an additional opportunity in 2023 to get the HPV vaccine through the HSE Programme - the vaccine is free and available through HSE vaccination clinics.
The World Health Organisation, Regional Committee for Europe (RC72), adopted regional action plans for ending HPV transmitted infections 2022–2030; At the conference Bernie and Larry narrated a video for the conference detailing the loss of their daughter. https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/15-09-2022-milestone-agreements-and-record-participation-mark-final-day-at-rc72
In January 2023 a shortened version of this video was also posted by the WHO on the internet at: https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1615285994307162113
Bernie is also a patient advocate representative member of Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategic Advisory Group in Ireland and a member of the Protect-Europe Advisory Board.
Updated: July 2023