Admin l Tuesday, April 12, 2022
GENEVA – The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE)has announced that a single dose of HPV vaccine – instead of the traditional two or three doses – delivers solid protection against human papillomavirus (HPV).
Infection of HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer, which claimed the lives of 342,000 women in 2020, and about 90% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, where access to HPV vaccine has been limited due to a range of factors. If only one jab is required to save lives, there will be fewer obstacles to face in our global effort to prevent cervical cancer through immunisation.
Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance explains what impact this decision will have on women across Africa, and across the world.
“The decision made today on the HPV vaccine is a critically important one in our fight against cervical cancer – a disease that kills one woman every two minutes, the vast majority of whom live in lower-income countries.
With global supply traditionally constrained and inequitable distribution of vaccines across geography, income and disease burden, this decision means we will now be able to make the same volume of doses – and the same investment – go twice as far. This could potentially save twice the number of lives. It could also be a game changer in protecting underserved and vulnerable populations where second dose uptake is a persistent challenge. As lower income countries contend not only with COVID-19 but a host of other public health priorities, this single dose regime would ease the strain on overstretched health systems.
We must now seize this opportunity and protect a generation of girls who remain at risk from a deadly but preventable disease. Gavi has supported HPV vaccine introduction for girls in 16 African countries. With the SAGE recommendation, girls in every African country – and beyond- should be able to access this life-saving vaccine.”