Cervical cancer vaccine boost increases supply for up to 84 million girls worldwide

HPV – human papillomavirus – is a group of more than 200 related viruses, 40 of which are spread through direct sexual contact and can cause certain types of cancer, including cervical. 

Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women living in less-developed regions, according to Gavi. 

The organisation has so far helped 30 countries introduce HPV programmes, with 19 successfully implementing it nationally.

In The agreement will end a shortage in supply of HPV vaccines, following unprecedented demands in low and middle income countries.

The World Health Organization told countries at the time, if possible, to pause vaccinating boys until enough doses were secured for all girls aged between nine and 14. 

Commenting on today’s announcement, Dr Berkley said: “HPV is one of the most impactful vaccines in the Gavi portfolio and country demand is currently far in excess of supply.

“Today’s commitment has the potential to save more lives, and to take significant steps towards our common goal of a world free of cervical cancer.”

For the period of 2021 to 2025 Gavi had initially estimated 50 million girls would have access to the vaccine due to the shortage in supplies, despite their programmes being able to reach 84 million with an unconstrained supply. 

Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, said: “We know that cervical cancer disproportionately impacts women in lower income countries and that HPV vaccines offer an opportunity later in their life course for adolescent girls to connect with the health system.

“We look forward to continuing to contribute to Gavi’s objective of reaching another 84 million girls with HPV vaccination in the next five years.”

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